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Nexus House, Mission Court,
Newport, NP20 2DW.

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Springtime celebrations: Passover and Shavuot
16/05/2017
To celebrate our wonderful and diverse city, we are posting weekly articles on religious celebrations and festivals in spring.
We visited Cardiff United Synagogue and spoke with Rabbi Rose, to learn about Passover and Shavuot.
Passover remembers how Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.
“Passover is the story of Exodus; we celebrate it for eight days. The first night of Passover is called Seder,” explained Rabbi Rose.
Rabbi Rose said that on Seder night, Jewish people have a large meal, with food that is reminiscent of what happened in Egypt: “We have bitter herbs to remind us of the slavery. We eat matzo [unleavened] bread, to remind us that the people left in a hurry, so the bread didn’t have time to rise.”
Before Passover, Jewish people clear out the house, removing all bread and flour.
Shavuot takes place seven weeks after the first day of Passover. Shavuot remembers the day the Jewish people received the Torah on Mount Sinai.
“We read the Ten Commandments in the synagogue. We’ll reflect on the good times, and those who have passed on. We say special prayers for them on the second day of the festival. We don’t do anything that’s considered a form of work,” commented Rabbi Rose.
Rabbi Rose said that Shavuot is known as the Cheesecake Festival, as the people of Israel only had milk until they fully understood the laws of kosher: “We have all kinds of dairy food, but cheesecake is the most common.”
Shavuot is a significant celebration, explained Rabbi Rose: “Before there was no distinction between Jews and non-Jews, everyone followed the universal laws of God. On Shavuot, they adopted extra laws: ethical laws of purity, sanctity, and many laws relating to the land of Israel.”
Newport City Homes respects and values people of all beliefs and celebrates our vibrant and diverse city. This is part of a series of stories from our residents. We have taken every effort to ensure accuracy of the content and welcome your feedback.