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Passover begins with meal of tradition

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Monday night marked the beginning of one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays: Passover.

Families and congregations traditionally come together on the first night of the holiday and share in the Passover Seder, a symbolic service and meal through which the story of how the Israelites escaped slavery in ancient Egypt is often passed down.

"We're told that we should tell our children the story of Passover and really it's all about the kids," says Rabbi Franklin Muller of Congregation Rodef Sholom. "It's about them asking questions and about them identifying with the Jewish people and the community. So there is probably no greater holiday of Jewish connection and passing on the traditions of Judaism than what we do at Passover."

The Seder meal is made up of a variety of foods and rituals that symbolize the story of Passover.

"Through the special ritual foods that we eat, we remind ourselves of our ancestors experience and bondage three thousand years ago," explains Muller.

Kravitz Deli in Youngtown and Poland say they are the only remaining Jewish Deli in the area, and have become increasingly busy as they cater a number of Seder meals.

The owner of Kravitz Deli, Jack Kravitz, said the meal is a challenge to bake and cook each year.

"According to tradition, when the Jews left Egypt they left so quickly they didn't have time to let their bread rise," explains Kravitz. "So now in observance of that we don't eat bread or any kind of grains unless its first made into Matzah."

Passover began Monday at sundown and will end next Tuesday at sundown.

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