LEWISTOWN - Most Jews agree that the Festival of Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most important of the entire year.
According to a press release from Ohev Sholom Synagogue in Lewistown, Pesach reminds individuals of the day their ancestors were freed from slavery and bondage and the tyranny of ancient Egypt. The holiday also represents the first formal declaration of independence in history when a small group of slaves determined that all people should be free. The Bible points out that freedom of worship is essential to civilization, the release states.
Pesach is celebrated for eight days. The release states that it combines historical truths, marked by special services in the synagogue, with the importance of family life, marked by special planning in the home.
The first seder this year will be held on the evening of April 14.
During the eight days of Pesach, Jews do not eat leavened food or bread. The release states that this practice keeps individuals mindful of the haste with which their ancestors left ancient Egypt when wheat and flour were hurriedly prepared and baked by the sun.
Stanley Siegel, president of the synagogue, said in a letter to members that there are no services scheduled this year. However, the ceremony of Bedikat Chometz is to be performed on the evening of April 13. The home should be free of Chometz from 10:30 a.m. April 14 to the conclusion of Pesach the evening of April 22, the letter states.