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Jews in Charlotte mark the start of Passover

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/14/20/58/y4BiS.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Rabbi Yossi Groner prepares the prayers in the sanctuary, while jewish men enter the sanctuary at Lubavitch Education Center in Charlotte April 14,2014. The eight-day holiday of Passover begins Monday night, with Jews in Charlotte and the world over sitting down to a special dinner called a seder. They will commemorate the Israelites' exodus from bondage in Egypt. In Charlotte, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodoc synagogue, hosted seder for young Jewish adults. The congregation at Ohr HaTorah is part of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism. Called Chabad-Lubavitch, it originated in Russia in the 18th century and is now very active in organizing Jewish schools and reaching out to Jews who want a more Orthodoz Judaism.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/14/20/58/YTa1q.Em.138.jpeg|300
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Rochel Groner (far right) smiles after she lead a prayer for the jewish women followed by a seder at Lubavitch Education Center in Charlotte April 14,2014. The eight-day holiday of Passover begins Monday night, with Jews in Charlotte and the world over sitting down to a special dinner called a seder. They will commemorate the Israelites' exodus from bondage in Egypt. In Charlotte, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodoc synagogue, hosted seder for young Jewish adults. The congregation at Ohr HaTorah is part of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism. Called Chabad-Lubavitch, it originated in Russia in the 18th century and is now very active in organizing Jewish schools and reaching out to Jews who want a more Orthodoz Judaism.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/14/20/58/iFVHd.Em.138.jpeg|241
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Matzah that will be used at a seder at Lubavitch Education Center in Charlotte April 14,2014. The eight-day holiday of Passover begins Monday night, with Jews in Charlotte and the world over sitting down to a special dinner called a seder. They will commemorate the Israelites' exodus from bondage in Egypt. In Charlotte, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodoc synagogue, hosted seder for young Jewish adults. The congregation at Ohr HaTorah is part of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism. Called Chabad-Lubavitch, it originated in Russia in the 18th century and is now very active in organizing Jewish schools and reaching out to Jews who want a more Orthodoz Judaism.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/14/20/58/19kxIm.Em.138.jpeg|212
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Chaya Groner prepares the table for the seder at Lubavitch Education Center in Charlotte April 14,2014. The eight-day holiday of Passover begins Monday night, with Jews in Charlotte and the world over sitting down to a special dinner called a seder. They will commemorate the Israelites' exodus from bondage in Egypt. In Charlotte, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodoc synagogue, hosted seder for young Jewish adults. The congregation at Ohr HaTorah is part of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism. Called Chabad-Lubavitch, it originated in Russia in the 18th century and is now very active in organizing Jewish schools and reaching out to Jews who want a more Orthodoz Judaism.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/04/14/20/58/199gz.Em.138.jpeg|273
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Jessica Waldman takes her turn to light a candle during a special mitzvah for the jewish women followed by a seder at Lubavitch Education Center in Charlotte April 14,2014. The eight-day holiday of Passover begins Monday night, with Jews in Charlotte and the world over sitting down to a special dinner called a seder. They will commemorate the Israelites' exodus from bondage in Egypt. In Charlotte, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodoc synagogue, hosted seder for young Jewish adults. The congregation at Ohr HaTorah is part of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism. Called Chabad-Lubavitch, it originated in Russia in the 18th century and is now very active in organizing Jewish schools and reaching out to Jews who want a more Orthodoz Judaism.

On Monday at sundown, Jews in Charlotte and around the world marked the start of Passover, commemorating the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt under the leadership of Moses.

Also called Pesach (PAY-sakh), its Hebrew name, the holiday lasts for seven days in Israel and eight days in the United States and most everywhere else.

On the first two nights of Passover, Jewish families traditionally gather for a Seder, a ritualized dinner in which the story from the book of Exodus is retold. Candles are lit, blessings are said, and special food is served, including unleavened bread (matzo), which recalls that Jews fleeing Egypt didn’t have time to wait for their bread to rise.

There is also the reading of the Haggadah, a compilation of biblical passages, prayers, hymns and rabbinic literature.

On Monday night, Ohr HaTorah, an Orthodox congregation in Charlotte, hosted a Seder for young adults at the Lubavitch Educational Center. On Tuesday night, Temple Israel, a Conservative congregation, and Temple Beth El, a Reform congregation, will each have a reservation-only community Seder.

The Seder’s most iconic line, usually recited by the youngest person at the table who is able to recite it: “Why is this night different from all other nights?” The question has four answers, all relating to how the Seder symbolizes freedom to have a relaxing meal together and enjoy each others’ company.

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