FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The eight-day celebration of Passover begins Monday night for the Jewish community in Fairfield County and all over the world.
“It’s not just something we remember, but experience,” said Rabbi Ron Fish of Congregation Beth El in Norwalk.
The celebration is focused around the story of Exodus, when Moses freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt and God unleashed the 10 plagues on the Egyptians.
“We experience the negative beginnings of the story, then we turn to the happy transition,” Fish said.
Fish described the tradition of Passover as remembering and experiencing what their ancestors went through during this time, from the unleavened bread or Matzo and the bitter herbs they eat at the Seder dinners to making time for the children to ask questions and be heard.
“It is a time to think about new beginnings,” Fish said, adding that Passover tends to coincide with the beginning of spring and the agricultural roots of the Jewish people.
To celebrate Passover, each family holds private dinners, called Seders.
“It’s usually held family by family or house by house,” Fish said. But the food served - bitter herbs, lamb, egg and matzo - and the stories told are the same for everyone, he said.