Man Attending Virtual Seder Spends 45 Minutes Locating Missing Afikomen

Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 10.47.39 AM

Bangor, ME – In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping across the nation, Joseph Schlott was excited, if somewhat skeptical, when he saw on Facebook that his local Messianic synagogue, Congregation Beth Messiah, would be livestreaming a virtual Seder for their members. Sadly, what started as a wonderful alternative for those stuck in solitude turned into a source of considerable frustration before the night had ended.

“I was really looking forward to it,” said Schlott. “I live alone, and of course we’re all social distancing these days.  I would have felt pretty silly reading the Hagaddah out loud alone in my apartment, but the answers to the four questions and the explanations of the elements are just so essential to Passover that I don’t think I could bring myself to skip them. So when they announced that they were taking the congregational Seder virtual, I was thrilled—finally, a congregational Seder worth attending! But I did have one major concern, which was that the Afikomen hunt wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Turns out I was right to be worried about it, but not for that reason.”

The trouble began when the Rabbi paused the proceedings for a few minutes to give the children at home a chance to find the Afikomen. “I knew it wouldn’t be much of a challenge since I’d be both hiding and finding it, but it’s a crucial part of the Seder, right?” said Schlott. “So anyway, I was about to go hide it, when I realized I didn’t have a clue where I’d last put it down. So then I’m looking all over the place for it, and next thing I know the Rabbi’s starting the Seder up again. There wasn’t a way to pause it, so I had to back out of the thing.”

Nearly an hour later, Schlott finally recovered the missing piece of matzah, which had become buried in the recesses of his couch, alongside his previously misplaced keys. Although he’d missed the rest of the livestream, he decided to finish the Seder by pulling up the archived footage, which he reports wasn’t without its additional difficulties. “When I finally found the thing and went back to the video, it started from the beginning. It took me forever to find the right part. All in all, a pretty frustrating end to an unusual night.”

However, when asked if he’d attend another virtual Seder in the future should the need arise, Schlott was open to the possibility. “Obviously I’m hoping that all my future Seders will be in person, surrounded by family and friends, the way it should be. But if we had a situation like this again? Yeah, I think I’d give it another shot. It certainly beats monologuing the whole thing to an empty room like a lunatic. Besides, I gave myself fifty bucks for the Afikomen once I found it; it’s hard to argue with a payout like that.”

 

Want The Meow to be able to continue running? Click here to support us!

Messianic Congregations Across United States Move to New ‘Abuseless Shabbat’ Format Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

online-4727942_960_720

Murca — With a global pandemic at hand and the world rapidly changing, Messianic Congregations across the United States are being forced to re-format their weekly activities. Just as many corporations have moved their work online, Messianic Congregations are following suit. Synagogues are rushing to begin live-streaming their services, so as not to lose the attention of their attendees, while they are forced to close their physical locations for the unforeseeable future. Live-streaming services will allow Rabbis to continue giving their sermons, as well as collect online tithes. However, not meeting in person does present some challenges, including having to loosen their reigns on ensuring congregants stick by their side during this time of uncertainty.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to do with myself on Shabbat right now,” said Missy W., a member of a nameless Messianic Congregation, located somewhere in the United States. “I can live-stream my Rabbi’s sermon while I’m still in bed. I don’t even have to get up. So that’s like 45 minutes of my life. I don’t even have to get dressed to attend services right now. On a normal week, as a member, I’m required to be at my Synagogue for 10 hours every Saturday. I have to be at my Rabbi’s every beck and call. Sometimes I lead worship, sometimes I am in the nursery, sometimes I am running the soundboard, sometimes I am just a gopher for leadership. If I even try to miss a week of services, they pretty much put out an Amber Alert for me. One week I had a 103º fever and I had five people tell me if I didn’t show up in the next 20 minutes they would have a Sheriff’s Deputy come to my house and escort me there. My Rabbi is a really gifted speaker, but I can do without the rest of his controlling behavior. Our congregation has been closed for two weeks already, and I feel so free right now. I feel like I can breathe. For the first time, in eight years, I can finally just rest and not have to worry about what will happen to me if I just take the day to myself. This new arrangement, where our congregation is 100% virtual, allows me to filter out the bad and only deal with the good. And I am kind of enjoying not dealing with the bad. I’m seriously considering not even returning to my congregation when they re-open in a couple of months. And I actually feel okay with that. Is it okay to do this for myself? I don’t even know if that’s okay. It’s okay, right? Please tell me it’s okay.”

More than 70 Messianic Congregations across the United States and Canada have moved their Shabbat services online, during this time of social distancing. If you would like to attend a virtual Shabbat service, please visit this page for a list of options: https://messianiccomedy.com/find-a-messianic-congregation/