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Tarrytown Rabbi Explains Passover Holiday

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The Jewish holiday of Passover doesn't just celebrate the emancipation of the Jewish people from years of slavery in Egypt around 1,200 B.C.E, Rabbi David Holtz said. It's about the idea of freedom.

“It's not just about being freed,” Holtz said. “It's being freed for what?”

Holtz serves Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown. He noted that when Jewish families sit down to the Seder during Passover, it's traditional to tell the tale of Moses leading his people out of Egypt: God sends Moses to free the Jews from the Pharaoh, but the Pharaoh refuses until God sends 10 plagues.

“They go from there to Mount Sinai and receive the Torah. So the idea is these two things are connected,” Holtz said, adding the idea is that the Jews were freed so that they could have a life devoted to God.

Unlike many other Jewish holidays, Holtz noted that Passover is celebrated in the home with family and friends. The retelling of the story of Passover is also an important aspect of the holiday.

“We're supposed to imagine that we ourselves are freed from Egypt,” Holtz said.

Temple Beth Abraham will hold its regular morning services on Saturday and Sunday, Holtz said.

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