Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
So now even the Mimouna is happening on Zoom… For those who don’t know, Mimouna is a celebration dinner held by Jews from North Africa, especially Morocco, when Pesach ends, marking the return to eating chametz.
Here are comments made yesterday by Miriam Peretz at the Mimouna of Israel’s Union of Rabbinical Communities:
“We are being asked at this time to move one part of our bodies that perhaps we have not moved enough in the past. We have always moved our arms and legs a lot since we have shopped at all the malls. Our eyes got plenty of exercise too looking into all the different stores. But one part of us we did not move enough – our heart. And now, baruch Hashem, this is happening. The more they insist on issuing orders that separate us by two meters, the closer our hearts move towards each other. During the Mimouna, our homes are filled with people and our doors are kept open. But what can we do, this year our doors are closed. However, something is still open – the heart. Our hearts are staying open these days more than ever.
“I was thinking to myself during the holiday: How did the Children of Israel enter the Sea? Weren’t they afraid that the water would inundate and drown them? The answer is: Mimouna. The word Mimouna comes from emunah (faith). Faith that they would be successful. That is the essence of this day. Faith above all is the ability to know deeply that there is hope, that you will make it through the Sea, that the orders for social distancing will be torn up and split apart like the Sea, that we will make it through the corona and we will once again have happy celebrations together. And faith is tested especially during a crisis. Why did Miriam, the sister of Moshe, bring a tambourine with her when she left Egypt? When people run away – as we did from Egypt – they take whatever is close at hand. Since when does someone who is running away take a tambourine? The answer is that Miriam’s tambourine symbolizes faith, the profound knowledge that everything will work out in the end, that we will be successful, that everything promised to us will come to pass. Now all of us need to search for our own ‘Miriam’s tambourine’, our own faith. This is the most important resource for us to draw upon during this time.