SALT LAKE CITY — The Jewish holiday of Passover begins Monday at sundown and lasts for the next eight days. Before observances begin, many families participate in a ceremony of preparation.
On the day of Passover, Rabbi Benny Zippel, Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, and two of his sons burn all of the bread from their home, made with leavening. Members of the congregation also rid their lives of what is puffed up, symbolizing arrogance.
"To remove evil, to remove violence, to remove animosity and strife amongst people, thereby succeeding in functioning altogether in a spirit of harmony as a nation," Rabbi Zippel said of the Passover ideal.
"To remove evil, to remove violence, to remove animosity and strife amongst people, thereby succeeding in functioning altogether in a spirit of harmony as a nation."
They ponder Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, escaping with only unleavened bread.
This is not just a symbolic end to what is seen as the richness of life. There is spiritual significance.
And especially this day, Rabbi Zippel's mother, Rachel Zippel — who goes by Kelly — traveled from Milan, Italy. She is a Holocaust survivor.
For the rabbi's mother, this is not only the beginning of Passover but it is a day of remembrance, like every other day in her life.
While living in Holland during World War II, Kelly Zippel and her parents were sent to Westerbork Concentration Camp. An older brother was killed in the Dutch army, and another brother and sister died in the gas chambers at Sobibor, a camp in Poland.
"This is one thing I know, I never get over it. It's every day that I think about it."
"But then we found out about my brother and sister and that they were taken to Sobibor and they were killed, so I was the only child left over and I was the youngest," Kelly Zippel said.
She and her parents were freed in 1945.
"This is one thing I know, I never get over it," Kelly Zippel said. "It's every day that I think about it."
As sundown approaches, the members of this congregation, like so many others throughout the world, have already set the table for Seder, a dinner when they will combine the bitter with the sweet. They will speak of freedom and faith in God who has brought them to this day.