Pesach 2020 has certainly been like no other. For many of us around the world, it has been characterized by social distancing, isolation and quarantine. This goes very much against the nature of the chag which is all about getting together, telling the story and sharing in the festivity over a seder meal. Getting the items for the seder meal in itself was a challenge.
In previous years we would travel back to South Africa and purchase the items we needed. This year with the travel ban, that was impossible. Bringing items over by cargo was the next best solution. I contacted a store in South Africa and a few in the UK but they were not delivering. I researched stores in the US but many were not able to deliver either. Reasons in all cases: limited resources in lockdown. Finally, a solution came to us. Perhaps we should say it was a Pesach miracle.
One of our supporters at Star-K contacted me to say that they had three boxes of Pesach goods stuck at London Heathrow due to the lockdown. The boxes were due to go to Cochin, India, however, since flights had been canceled, they were sitting in storage. They offered us the boxes if we could get them to Dubai. And so we started the mission - a week before Pesach!
Thankfully, we got the items to Dubai three days before the start of Pesach. It took one day to clear customs. We opened the boxes to discover all that we needed: Shmura matzah from Montreal (Canada), machine-made matzah, matzah meal, soup mixes, sugar, salt, biscuits, Osem cakes, potato starch, icing sugar, mayonnaise, cocoa, date syrup, ketchup, sweets, chocolate, liquers and even toothpaste! What a beautiful sight. There were also children's books and seder items (jumping frogs etc), extra haggadot and little gifts. We ended up with so much that we were able to share the items with the community which brought extra smiles to everyone.
And so, my kosher for Passover kitchen was complete and we continued to supply to the community throughout the week.
We are extremely grateful Mr Joel Weinberger of Star-K for his ongoing support and thoughtfulness.