As Christians conclude Easter week, Cuenca’s Jewish community begins Passover celebration

Apr 22, 2019

Cuenca Jews celebrated the beginning of Passover on Friday. (El Tiempo)

While tens-of-thousands of Cuenca Christians celebrated Easter last week, the city’s smaller Jewish community marked the beginning of Passover.

On Friday, 60 Messianic Jews gathered in the Cuenca College of Engineers social sala on Av. Solano for the traditional seder commemorating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, 7,000 years ago. The Passover observance continues until April 27.

Rabbi Milton Rodríguez in the traditional foot-washing ritual at the beginning of Passover. (El Tiempo)

“This is a time of great joy for the freedom of the Jewish people,” says Cuenca rabbi Milton Rodríguez. “Most important for all of us, it is the time to teach our youngest members about Passover so that they will carry forward and transmit the message of hope, change and reflection for our people.”

He added: “For those of the Jewish faith, this is our most important celebration and a time for family, community, prayer and study. This Sabbath is a reminder that we are a free people and that the world is God’s creation.”

According to Rodríguez, Cuenca Jews make visits to other Jewish families during Passover week, as well as attend prayers at the local recreation of the Wailing Wall in the Shalom Club of Cuenca, where other activities will also take place.

“In addition to the powerful symbolism, Passover is also a time to have fun with each other and to share the happiness of our faith. It’s also a time to eat some very good food,” Rodríguez says.

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