I am the Prophet Elijah and I Will Not Be Coming to Your Passover Seder This Year

Dear the Jewish People,

In these difficult times, I, Elijah the Prophet, and the whole Heaven team remain committed to your health and safety. We want you to know we’re taking COVID-19 seriously, to prevent you and your loved ones from joining us too soon. That’s why this year, we’ve had to make some changes. Which, frankly, is kind of a pain in my tuchus.

In normal years, you can count on me not to flake and RSVP “maybe” to your important events. I show up at Passover for wine (even if it’s that crap Manischewitz). I’m on time to your kid’s bris (except that year the A train was delayed). When you call me in despair, I show up disguised as a beggar — or as that temp in the next cubicle who chewed loudly — to test your compassion.

But recently, God issued a stay-at-home order. (Right when I ran out of wine, incidentally––not that I’m cranky about this or anything.) All in-person miracles have been cancelled or postponed. Plus, Dr. Fauci says old people have to be extra careful, so I’m staying put for your sake and mine.

On the bright side, this means the jerk coming within a few feet of you at Trader Joe’s when you’re trying to grab the last cauliflower gnocchi is NOT secretly me in disguise testing you, so feel free to be annoyed.

Anyway, I can’t make Passover this year. Look, I wanted to come. I love Passover, especially how you let me skip the long parts and just drop by for vino so I can get to everyone else’s seder, though sometimes I do sneak into your kitchen for leftover brisket. I pushed back at first––suggested I go and ask for hand sanitizer instead of wine. But God vetoed that, even though I’m running low, because apparently you are too.

It’s not safe for any of us, even with all your hand-washing and your family joining on Zoom. I’d be coming within six feet of you, touching the wineglass, and carrying germs from all the other houses. And how would I tell the next day whether I had a hangover or COVID-19? I don’t need that anxiety.

Also, the CDC just asked us to wear cloth masks, and for a guy into disguises, I actually look terrible in a mask.

Your guests don’t have to know. Just this once, go open the door, pretend I’m there, drink from my glass yourself, and tell everyone on Zoom I showed up. Though maybe make like you’re protecting yourself from the striking-of-the-first-born plague, and schmear a little hand sanitizer on your doorpost first.

“But Elijah the Prophet,” you may ask, “how can you be at risk for coronavirus? Aren’t you already dead?” First, that’s totally rude. Second, I never died; I just climbed into a fiery chariot (which was dope) and ascended to Heaven in human form. So, I guess I’m not an anti-body, haha. (God hates that joke.)

Oh and I may be a prophet, but I did NOT see a pandemic coming. Though the CDC did; just saying. So don’t start in with “Why didn’t you warn us last year?” or “You couldn’t have brought us toilet paper?” I don’t have any, and it sucks to be one of the few in Heaven who still has a body these days.

So, I’ll be staying home, sober, and re-watching The Good Place for the thousandth time, but I won’t whine. If I can do this, you can––so Boomers, don’t even try getting your kids to show up in person. I bet it wouldn’t strike your first-born as a good idea. (God hates that one even more.)

Next year — in Jerusalem or wherevs — I’ll show up. We’ll get through this. And for those of you who only care about the economy (totally judging you, btw) maybe someday you’ll turn a prophet. Just not this one.



PS. I tried ordering wine online, but my delivery window’s weeks away. Send some??? (Don’t tell God.)



Public health professional, writer, and pun perpetuator living in Seattle, WA.

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Deborah Gardner

Public health professional, writer, and pun perpetuator living in Seattle, WA.