Chabad of Grass Valley plans to distribute dozens of pounds of hand-made Shmurah Matzah this year to help Jews in Grass Valley, Nevada City and surrounding areas participate in the upcoming Passover holiday. The Matzahs will be delivered to homes in the community or can be requested at http://www.JewishGV.com/passover.
Passover, celebrated this year from the night of April 10, until after nightfall on April 18, commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt in 1313 BCE. Round, kneaded and shaped by hand, present day "Shmurah" Matzahs are similar to those eaten by the Jews when leaving Egypt over 3,000 years ago, when presumably they could not wait for their dough to rise, and thus ate unleavened crackers called "Matzah."
From the moment the wheat is harvested, the ingredients are carefully watched to ensure that they do not become leavened, which would be prohibited on Passover.
The local effort is part of a global Passover campaign that began in 1954, when the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, considered the most influential rabbi in modern history, launched the Shmurah Matzah initiative as part of an effort to create awareness and promote observance of the holiday. An estimated four million hand-baked Shmurah Matzahs will be distributed by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement this year.
"The Rebbe taught that no solitary Jewish person ought to be left out. Every Jew, regardless of their background, affiliation or even location, should have access to the provisions they need to celebrate Passover," said Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz, director of Chabad of Grass Valley.
Chabad has set up a website http://www.JewishGV.Com/Passover, which includes a variety of resources to learn about and prepare for Passover including a menu planner, house cleaning checklist and Seder "how-to" guide. This will help to ease Passover preparations, while the site's fun and educational activities such as the interactive seder plate and ma nishtana trainer keep the kids busy.
Interested parties may also RSVP for the first community Passover Seder organized by Chabad, at http://www.JewishGV.com/Seder or by calling 530-404-0020. Guests must RSVP by April 5.