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By Carole J. Stone

Jews are reminded many times during their rituals that “once we were slaves in Egypt.” This fact is pivotal to our history. No reminders, however, are more significant than during Passover, when the entire holiday is dedicated to the story of the liberation of the Jews from bondage in Egypt.

According to the Book of Exodus, a family of 70 Israelites, all related to the patriarch Jacob and his son Joseph, traveled to Egypt to escape famine. There, they multiplied until the community was many times its original size. And there they prospered.

During that time, however, “there arose a pharaoh who knew not Joseph,” and the new pharaoh enslaved the Israelites. During that time, they experienced many hardships, but none more terrible than the requirement to follow the new law demanding that the Jews kill all the baby boys born to them. As the story goes, one devoted mother, in an effort to save her infant, put him in a reed boat and placed him in the Nile near where the pharaoh’s daughter bathed. The princess found the baby and raised him as her own, using his natural mother as his wet nurse. This baby was Moses, who grew up to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt and into their 40-year journey in the desert, culminating in their arrival in The Promised Land.

During the holiday of Passover, called Pesach in Yiddish, many customs are actually symbolic of this experience. For example, the matzohs, or unleavened bread, that Jews are commanded to eat at this time, are a reminder that when the Jews escaped their bondage there was no time for ordinary bread to rise before baking. The charoset, a mixture of ground apples, walnuts, and wine, reminds us of the mortar used to cement bricks during our enslavement. Because Passover occurs in the springtime, many symbols of spring occur in the Seder, or Passover meal, such as eggs, parsley, and the shank bone of the paschal lamb.

This year, the Jews of San Miguel de Allende will retell this ancient story and eat the symbolic foods in our annual Passover Seder, sponsored by CHESMA, AC and the Kehillat Shalom San Miguel de Allende. This Seder will be on the first night of Passover, March 30, at 6pm at the Hotel Imperio de Angeles, located on the Carretera a Celaya. Please visit our website at to make your paid reservation, or call the JC3 office at 185 9191.


Religious Service

CHESMA, AC and the Kehillat Shalom San Miguel de Allende presents


Fri, Mar 30, 6pm

Hotel Imperio de Angeles

Located on the Carretera a Celaya


185 9191




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