BALTIMORE (WJZ)—On Friday, the Jewish community gathered at Pimlico Race Course to begin their Passover celebration.
Monique Griego has more on how they continue a tradition that’s thousands of years old.
Flames ignited at Pimlico Race Course as the Jewish community celebrated the burning of the Chometz, a time to get rid of any leavened bread.
“Any sort of wheat product which is forbidden for us to eat over Passover,” said Joseph Bondi.
“This is arguably one of the oldest religious rituals still being practiced in the world,” said Dr. Bert Miller.
Miller started the community event in 1982. At first it was small gathering at a fire station. Thirty years later, thousands will come to Pimlico’s parking lot to pray and burn their bread together.
“It’s great to come out here because [it’s a] nice safe community organized way to do it,” said Mira Lavovitz.
Before the Jewish community was given a public place, people were forced to do their burning at their homes.
“People would observe this ritual in their backyard,” Miller said.
For many families, this event is a Passover tradition they hope to keep passing on.
“It’s something they’ll remember, not just reading a book,” Bondi said.
“They’ll remember it for years, and they’ll come back with their kids hopefully,” Lavovitz said.
The Jewish Passover celebrates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.