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  • Barbara Sarshik

Elijah, Please Come In, But Stay Six Feet Away

My newest Passover song parody — “Ode to Elijah: 2021 Edition,” set to “Battle Hymn of the Republic” — reflects our current mixed emotions. Should we have a Zoom Seder and eliminate the risk that comes with being together? Or can we welcome others to our homes for our Seders? It’s challenging to know whether we can safely gather this Passover.


Elijah embodies my own mixed emotions. I pray that Elijah will visit my home each year when we open the door. I try to catch a glimpse or feel a change in the air. I peek to see if his cup has been emptied. This may sound crazy, but I can’t resist that hope for peace and redemption that Elijah traditionally brings to us at Passover.

This year, I may hesitate when we welcome Elijah to our Seder. Like so many of us, I’ve followed strict Covid-19 protocols for the last year. People enter our home rarely, and only when masked. I put out hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for these rare visitors. I stay far away from them.


Even for Elijah, these newly-entrenched habits are hard to shed. I want to welcome Elijah as an honored guest. But is it safe for him to be in our home? Is it rude to expect Elijah to wear a mask, and to remain masked instead of drinking wine from his special cup?


When I write new Passover song parodies, I hope we can sing them for years to come. Not this song. Let’s sing it energetically this year. Then I hope we won’t need to sing it again. In future years, may we all be able to welcome Elijah — and other guests — to our Seders safely and wholeheartedly!



You can get the lyrics to download and share at your own Seder from the Song Index, and you can hear a lovely vocal recording by my friend Janice Zucker on the Music page.



Ode to Elijah: 2021 Edition

(to “Battle Hymn of the Republic”)


Elijah, on this Seder night, we open up the door.

We pray that you will visit like you’ve always done before.

But this year there are protocols we hope you won’t ignore

When you come walking in.


(Chorus)

Please come through the door, Elijah!

Please come through the door, Elijah!

Please come through the door, Elijah!

But stay six feet away!


Elijah, please forgive us for the things we need to ask.

When you come through the doorway, don’t forget to double mask.

Just take the Manischewitz we have poured into a flask

And drink it somewhere safe.


(Repeat Chorus)


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