PORT CHESTER, N.Y. Passover, which begins Friday night, is the most celebrated holiday in the Jewish tradition, according to the Jewish support group The Curriculum Initiativep;.
The eight-day holiday commemorates the Israelite's exodus from slavery in Egypt and is observed with a series of services and dinners called Seders. Although the holiday is a celebration of freedom, it ironically places restrictions on observers. Perhaps the most famous and pertinent of these is abstaining from leavened bread for eight days.
This restriction in particular gave birth to the Seder fixture matzo, a form of unleavened bread. Other common Seder dishes include gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, eggs and karpas or green vegetables.
Despite the dietary rules in place during the holiday, Rabbi Jaymee Alpert of KTI Congregation in Port Chester believes Passover to be perhaps Judaism's most food-oriented holiday. In her March address to the Congregation, Alpert urged the congregation to consider others during what she calls "the Season of Food."
"For the next few weeks, as we focus on food, let us be mindful of those in our world and in our community who do not have enough to eat," Alpert said.
The first Seder, which begins Friday at sundown, signals the beginning of the holiday and is followed by morning services Saturday and Sunday. The holiday ends next weekend with Friday morning and Saturday morning services. For a full listing of Passover services at KTI Congregation, click here.
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