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Bozeman Jewish community celebrates Passover

Published On: Mar 25 2013 07:09:55 PM MDT   Updated On: Mar 26 2013 09:25:48 AM MDT
Bozeman Passover Leaven Burning
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

At Chabad Lubavitch outside of Bozeman, several gathered outside the synagogue Monday just before noon to watch a special burning.

They piled palms and leavened items like bread and crackers for the Burning of the Leaven, a ritual that takes place before official Passover festivities begin.

Rabbi Chaim Bruk recited a Jewish prayer in Hebrew during the burning. In it, he said the burning symbolized humility- and asked God to help humble them.

"By burning the leavened items, we're burning our egos, so-to-say" Rabbi Chaim said. "We're nullifying the evil inclination from within us, hoping that this Passover will usher in a more beautiful self for each and everyone of us and a more refined person."

Inside Chabad Lubavitch, many were cooking and preparing food for the Seder. It's the feast that marks the official start of Passover.

Passover is the Jewish holiday to commemorate the eight-day exodus from Egypt, and the parting of the seas. Rabbi Chaim said they spent weeks preparing for the holiday, and look forward to the yearly cleansing.

"Judaism's not only about the practical symbolism... it's a religion about action" he said. "But it's also about internalizing the eternal message of this holiday- which is get rid of your ego, be more humble and incorporate more God in your life. And you'll be a happier and better person."

Rabbi Chaim said they'll hold another Seder Tuesday evening, and plan to have hundreds of Jewish people in the community visit the synagogue during the week.