|home | about this site | stories | the gallery | schools | migration histories | tracing your roots | search|
|Migration Histories > Jewish > Culture and Festivals|
|Passover away from home|
Passover, an essentially home-based festival, is one that Jews will mark wherever possible, even if through force of circumstance they are away from home. Arrangements have been made, for example, in prisons and youth offending institutions since the 19th century to enable Jewish inmates to observe the necessities.
It is also a poignant time for Jewish soldiers serving overseas. Seders were held by the armed forces, wherever they were stationed, in both World Wars.
Captain David Arkush, a Jewish soldier captured by the Japanese, recalled Passover in 1943 when he and many others were working on the infamous Burma-Siam railway:
On Pesach 1943, soon after the arrival of many more Jews from the Dutch forces captured in Java, we had a service after which we served rice cakes and rice coffee in lieu of a Seder. Over 50 Allied prisoners attended including many brought on stretchers. At these services kaddish was recited for those killed in action or who had died on the Railway.
No doubt these prisoners prayed very fervently that next year they would be living in freedom.
Passover continues to be a festival with contemporary resonance. Each year new Haggadot are published, with different perspectives and new insights into the festival and its meanings for Jewish people.
Creators: Carol Seigel
|contact us | help | site map||copyright | privacy|