‘Celebration of Freedom’

LIHUE — As the president of the Jewish Community of Kauai, Sally Wilson is looking forward to celebrating the biblical feast of the Passover Seder with her community and all others who wish to join them for the feast.

“It’s just a remembrance of this biblical event,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of tradition in it too. Usually seders are held in families homes. It’s the memory of families getting together.”

The Passover Seder, also known as “Pesach,” will be held on Sunday at St. Michael and All Angel’s Episcopal Church in Lihue.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the Seder will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for JCK members are $60 for adults and $30 for children. Reservations must be made in advance.

“Our duty is to inscribe the story on the hearts and on the minds of our children so that it will be passed down to all succeeding generations,” Wilson wrote in an email about the Passover.

The Pesach Seder tells the story of the exodus from Egypt led by Moses. Sunday’s event has many traditions with special significance, Wilson explained.

On that night, the Jewish community will eat matzah — unleavened bread — as they remember the slave’s hurried departure from Egypt. Due to the Jewish people being in such haste, they didn’t have time to let the bread rise.

“When we break the matzah as our forefathers did, it is a symbol of the chesed, the loving-kindness, and the solidarity of Jews toward their fellow Jews, their brothers and sisters, even under the harshest conditions,” Wilson wrote.

In addition to the matzah, the community will eat maror, or bitter herbs, at the Seder, which act as a reminder of the bitterness of the Jewish peoples’ lives as slaves.

The herbs will be served with charoset, a sweet dish made of apples and chopped nuts to remind the people to be grateful that their lives are more noble and dignified than their lives in Egypt.

At the celebration, guests will dip their fingers into wine and drop 10 droplets of wine onto their plate to symbolize the 10 plagues of Egypt — water turned into blood, an infestation of frogs, influx of gnats, flies, death of livestock, the outbreak of boils, hail, swarm of locusts, darkness and the death of first-born sons.

“We do that to lessen our pleasure at being there by remembering the suffering of others,” Wilson said. “The community itself becomes a family.”

This year, the Seder will be led by Canton Ken Cohen of Honolulu, who is associated with multiple congregations such as the Temple Emanuel, and will be catered by Sandy Jennings from Fresh From the Garden.

Info: Sally Wilson, 821-0579, sallyanddonwilson@gmail.com, kauaijewishcommunity.com

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