Passover feast enriches Old Testament understanding

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    By Adrienne Andros

    The Passover feast, under the direction of Victor Ludlow, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU and specialist in Jewish studies, helps students better understand this religious ritual, said Patty Smith, event coordinator for the feast.

    The evening will include eating symbolic food like bitter herbs and unleavened bread and singing Passover songs, Smith said.

    Ludlow said he hopes students will leave the Passover feast with an “appreciation for an event that has strong biblical connotation.”

    The Passover Seder Services enables students to participate and learn about a Jewish tradition many students at BYU have never experienced, said Jacob Menke, 24, a senior from Fla., majoring in mechanical engineering.

    Menke”s mother is a Jewish convert to the LDS church. He grew up celebrating Passover.

    Ludlow does a thorough job of creating a traditional Passover meal, Menke said.

    “But everyone has their own way,” he said.

    Ludlow compared the Passover feast to Thanksgiving.

    “It is a family celebration,” Ludlow said.

    It can be a spiritual event as well, but it is a time for families to be together, he said.

    The Passover Seder Services began 28 years ago by Ludlow to help him explain the Passover to his Old Testament students and has now become a night of celebration for both BYU students and the public, Smith said.

    Ludlow not only holds Passover feasts here at BYU, he also holds them all over the western United States, Canada and Hawaii.

    Ludlow said he holds about 15 to 20 feasts during the season that draw anywhere from 33,000 to 35,000 people.

    Prior to the Passover festivities, a workshop will be held by Ludlow on Mar.16 at 2 p.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center.

    The workshop is designed to help others interested in organizing their own Passover meals along with providing useful background information.

    Tickets for the workshop are $6 and will be for sale on Mon., Feb. 11 in 271 JSB.

    Tickets for the annual Passover Seder Services at BYU go on sale Mon., Feb. 11 in 271 JSB.

    Tickets are $17 for BYU students, faculty and staff and $25 for the public.

    The feast will be held on Mar. 22, 28 and 29, and Apr. 5, 12, 13 and 19 at 6:30 p.m. The event typically lasts three and a half hours.

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