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Eldridge Street

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Sign about preparing for Passover

Undated, probably early-mid 20th century
Painted cardboard mounted on wood
13 x 21.5 inches

This sign was posted by the congregation advertising services to help members get rid of leavened food – chametz – before Passover, when only unleavened goods may be eaten. The sign tells congregants that they could bring any unused chametz that they had cleared from their homes to the synagogue, where the rabbi would offer to buy it. The chametz would then be disposed of, sold, or distributed to non-Jews. This service encouraged congregation members to keep up tradition. The sign also tells congregants that another Passover tradition would be observed. To commemorate God’s kindness in sparing first-born sons during the final plague of Egypt, first-born sons of many Jewish families fast on the day before Passover, then gather to hear the conclusion of the reading of a chapter of the Talmud that they had been studying.

This sign reads: Sale of leavened products and the conclusion of a chapter will take place in the synagogue and be conducted by the rabbi.

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