Religious leaders prepare for Easter, Passover celebrations from home

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The coronavirus pandemic is causing people to adjust to how they’re practicing their faith.

Many places of worship throughout Kansas have switched to online services.

Easter and Passover celebrations would soon be happening in many churches and temples. Now for some people, it will be the first time that they will celebrate the important religious dates without leaving their homes.

Rabbi Debbie Stiel said Temple Beth Sholom in Topeka would have been packed for a big Passover service this week. Instead they will hold an online celebration.

She said people are adapting and using the video service to feel a sense of community they might be lacking.

“In difficult times people really pull together,” Stiel said. “People are just so grateful to have this connection with each other. I haven’t heard any negative comments. It has really just been people being so grateful that we’re still there for each other.”

Stiel said the online services are actually connecting more people because those that don’t normally leave their homes and people out of state are joining the video chat.

She said that the same values and themes learned through the story of Passover can be related to what is going on in the world today.

“We’re facing a modern plague, so that certainly modernizes it for us, and it’s also about the bitter and the sweet, the slavery early on and then the freedom, the exodus from Egypt,” Stiel said.

“We are all going through a certain bitterness, I think,” Stiel said. “Yet there are bits of redemption all over, the kindnesses people are showing to each other, incredible acts of people in the medical profession.”

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