Hillel celebrates Passover

Ashlyne Wilson

Hillel will begin the eight day celebration of Passover on Monday, to remember the Jewish escape from slavery in Egypt.

“Passover is a holiday that takes on many meanings,” Sol Factor said, an instructor in the history department. “As a youngster it was the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the power of Moses with God’s help over the Pharaoh. As one gets older, it becomes the meaning changes to the importance of freedom. In the Torah and the Seder service are found two important reminders: In the Torah, we were once slaves in the land of Egypt, and in the Seder it means that next year we may be in Jerusalem [or free].”

Many students may not have the chance to celebrate the holiday with loved ones at home, so Hillel will host a celebration of its own as an alternative.

“Since there are some students who can’t make it home to celebrate with their families, we want to make the celebration as much like home as possible,” said Rabbi Lee Moore of Hillel.

The celebration will start Monday at noon with the burning of all the unleavened breads, or chametz, in the building. Rabbi Lee said that when the Jews fled Egypt, they didn’t have enough time to fully let the bread rise before escaping, so they had to use the desert sun to finish it. This was the making of the first Matzah, the only bread that can be eaten during Passover.

At 7 p.m. Hillel will host the first traditional Seder dinner of the week, led by Rabbi Lee.

“This is the most commonly practiced religious ritual of Jews today. More people would go to a Passover Seder than they would celebrate any other Jewish tradition,” Moore said.

She said during the Seder, it is a ritual to tell the story of Passover and follow the 14 steps that are explained in the Haggadah book, which she said means, “the telling.”

Miryam Raizen, a sophomore in theatre studies, said that her family in Dayton really gets into telling the story of Passover.

“One year my dad bought a whole bunch of magic supplies to represent the 10 plagues. And ever since then he always starts throwing rubber frogs at me and things like that,” she said. “He turns water into blood and uses [a] flashgun to shoot flames to represent the plague of flaming hail.”

The second night Seder will be hosted by staff of the Cohn at Night at Hillel, which will explore the scientific hypothesis for each of the 10 Passover plagues sent upon Egypt.

Hillel will be giving out free themed lunches for in-between classes, Tuesday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m.

RSVP to celebrate Passover with Hillel at http://kent.hillel.org/.

Contact Ashlyne Wilson at [email protected].