Harry Fisher / THE MORNING CALL
March 25, 2013
Jonathan Powers of Allentown uses a torch to facilitate the burning of "chametz - or leavened food products) in the rear of Congregation Sons of Israel on Monday's snowy morning. The ritual, which dates to biblical times, is based on the obligation that all Jews have to rid themselves of chametz by the morning before Passover each year. This year, Passover falls at the earliest date since 1899. For Jews worldwide, Passover is the commemoration of liberation by God, over 3,300 years ago from slavery in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs. It also celebrates the birth of the Jewish nation under the leadership of Moses. Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for 8 days (7 in Israel).