Observing Passover in Carroll County: What You Need to Know
Here, a list of resources, events and services in honor of Passover.
It’s almost time to break out the matzo. Passover arrives on March 25 this year, when Jews across the world will come together to retell the Exodus story over four cups of wine (or grape juice for those who can't indulge), and of course, a large, festive feast.
Passover begins on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan and since this is a lunar calendar, it falls on the full moon explains Larry Rubin, congregation secretary at the Eldersburg Jewish Congregation.
There are four new years in the Jewish Calendar with the first of Nissan being the birth of the nation of Israel Rubin said.
Passover is celebrated with an elaborate ritual meal, called the Seder -- Hebrew for order or sequence. At the Seder the story of the exodus is discussed based mostly on Talmudic, not biblical, texts. The book used to conduct the Seder is called the Hagaddah, and there are numerous versions according to Rubin.
Passover is the only Jewish Holiday for which special foods are required and according to Rubin, nothing that has risen is permitted to be used or owned by a Jewish family during the eight day holiday.
"In the past people actually broke their old dishes and bought new for the holiday," Rubin told Patch in an email. "My family switches to disposables. Traditionally there was a separate set of dishes just for Passover."
On the first two nights of Passover, Seder is held. Over the course of the night, four cups of wine are consumed to celebrate freedom. Bitter herbs are also eaten as a reminder of the pain of the Jewish slaves.
The middle of the holiday, from March 28 to 31, is an intermediate period, or Chol HaMoed, when there are fewer restrictions. On these days more observant Jews are allowed to drive and use electronics, and in rare instances, work. The final two days of Passover fall on April 1 and 2, and are considered Holy Days.
There is not a large selection of kosher food to be found in Carroll County. Barry Feinstein, lay leader at the Westminster Synagogue said that some grocery stores will have a small selection of kosher food on display. Grocery stores also have a selection of Jewish food.
The Westminster Synagogue will have a Passover Seder on March 28 at 6 p.m. at Carroll Lutheran Village. According to Feinstein, it is "concise, educational and informal." Members and non-members of Westminster Synagogue are welcome, but Feinstein said seating is limited.
Carroll County Synagogues: