Traditional ritual marks start of Passover
Jews across the Hudson Valley are celebrating the start of Passover with a traditional ritual that involves burning bread.
Rabbi Justin Schwartz, a member of the Spring Valley Fire Department, says the burning of the bread is known as Chometz. He says the fire department started hosting the ritual out of concern for public safety because people were burning bread in their homes.
Schwartz says Jewish families take the leavened bread from their homes and burn it since they can't eat it over Passover. He says the whole community comes together to burn the bread.
The tradition honors the ancient Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt when they didn't have time to let their bread rise before fleeing.