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How Israelis keep Passover traditions alive

Israelis keep their forefathers' Passover dinner traditions, with Persian Jews hitting their dinner neighbors with green onions and Djerba Jews reading the Haggadah in Arabic.
Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia attend a demonstration of a ceremonial Passover holiday dinner known as a "seder" at an immigrant's centre in Mevasseret Zion, near Jerusalem April 14, 2011. This year will be the first "seder" the immigrants will be celebrating in Israel, which begins this Monday evening. Passover commemorates the flight of Jews from ancient Egypt as described in Exodus. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTR2L7MH
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To an outside observer, it might seem strange, even bordering on crazy: During the Passover traditional dinner (the Seder), when the participants read from the Haggadah about Israel's exodus from Egypt, each diner takes a green onion and lashes his tablemate's back with it. This is only one of the unusual traditions of Passover. This green onion tradition comes from Persian Jewry, but other Jewish communities also maintain unique holiday traditions. Jews from Djerba (a Tunisian island) keep another tradition. When reading the chapter “This is the Bread of Our Affliction,” the patriarch of the family turns the Seder ceremonial plate above the heads of the diners, including young children, even those who have already fallen asleep. Despite the verse cited in the Haggadah, “Pour out your wrath upon the nations,” they read the book in both Hebrew and Arabic.

In other Jewish communities, when the Ten Plagues (inflicted by God on the Egyptians) are recited, everyone goes outside with lit candles and yells the names of the plagues in public.

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