Passover Seders move to nights that work for busy lives:
Sundown Monday signals the start of Passover, the most observed of Jewish holidays, a night when Jews follow the biblical mandate to gather, eat and retell their story of liberation. Unless, that is, they already did it over the weekend or plan to some other night this week.
Mostly to accommodate busy work and travel schedules, more American Jews are holding their Seders — the elaborate ritual meal at the heart of the eight-day holiday — on different nights, not only on the traditional first two nights.
I’m generally a live-and-let-live kind of guy when it comes to religious observance. You do what works for you; I do what works for me; it’s better to be observant in the way you can be than to do nothing; and so on.
But this, I have to admit, seems like a bridge too far for me.
It would be more convenient to schedule the holidays for times when I’m not busy, or when I’m already visiting my family, or when my wife has a few days off from work. I mean, if we could celebrate Passover at the same time as Christmas, then we wouldn’t have to take a couple of days off from work. Or if we could celebrate Passover at the same time as Rosh Hashana, we’d be able to knock off all at the same time those few days of religious observance that most American Jews agree are sancrosanct. Then a whole lot of people wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle that Judaism seems to represent for them for more than a couple of days a year.
Part of me thinks it’s better that these people celebrate Passover on the wrong day than not at all. But part of me is pretty sure religious observance isn’t principally about your convenience.