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Meal in Oxnard marks start of Passover

Meal in Oxnard marks start of Passover

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Meal in Oxnard marks start of Passover

BY: Anne Kallas
Apr 4, 2015

 
OXNARD, Calif. ­ The symbolism ran deep and rich Friday in the Oxnard backyard of the
Muchnik family as the Seder meal was being prepared for members of Chabad of Oxnard, as
well as family and friends.
 
Chaya Muchnik, 10, was laying out copies of the blessings that would be said when the
traditional dishes were served at the meal marking the start of Passover.
“We’re meant to remember how we fled Egypt, and free ourselves of our own badness,” she
said. “But it’s a fun time when all of the cousins and relatives come.”
 
Rabbi Josef Muchnik, brother of Chabad of Oxnard leader Rabbi Dov Muchnik, was laying
down his traditional Seder plate made of cloth, with marked places that would hold the various
elements.
 
The Kaarah — or Seder plate — will hold six items, all of them topped with three round
handmade matzos.

“Each of the items on the plate reflects various parts of our history. There are bitter herbs,
nuts and apples, a small potato or onion, horseradish root, a shank­bone or chicken neck and
egg,” Josef Muchnik said. “I’m excited to be with family and excited to be able to interact with
my two children to tell them what Seder is all about. Seder is about answering the questions of
children.”
 
Brian Reese, of Oxnard, brought his children to the Seder because his wife, Keren, is Jewish,
although she is currently in Israel.
 
“I enjoy the community. I’m not Jewish, but I believe the Seder brings it all together. And it
teaches the children to be responsible,” Reese said. “The symbolism makes me think back to
what happened in biblical days. The historic side of the Seder is very important to me. This is
better than watching A&E.”
 
Dov Muchnik held his 3­year­old daughter, Devorah, as he explained why having handmade
round matzos was so important.
 
“It’s more like the matzos the Jews ate when they fled from Egypt over 3,300 years ago in an
exodus. This is a festival of liberation,” he said.
 
His wife, Racheli, said the family had gone thoroughly through the home the night before.

“We had to prepare the house by scraping all the crumbs that were made of unleavened bread
using a feather and a candle. One of the little ones found a Cheerio,” she said. “We then lit a
symbolic fire to burn the bread and wipe away the ego.”
 
The Muchnik home was pressed into use because there wasn’t enough room at the Chabad
meeting place in nearby Hollywood Beach for the 100 or so people who were expected for each
of the two nights Seder would be observed. Another Seder will be held Saturday.
 
Before the Seder began, the women went upstairs to light candles and say blessings.
“Let’s think about the Jews who left Egypt and how we, too, can leave this exile,” Racheli
Muchnik said, holding one of her seven children on her hip. She said the single women were to
light one candle, married women could light two, and mothers could light a candle for each of
their children. “I will light nine candles,” she said.
 
Right before sunset, the men gathered separately to say prayers. The eight­ day observation
of Passover officially began after sunset Friday, Dov Muchnik said.
 
Racheli said that after the ceremonial Seder, which is accompanied by glasses of wine, the
meal would include gefilte fish, chicken soup and chicken kugel, followed by a sorbet dessert.
 

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CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR
Rabbi Dov Muchnik is shown before the Seder on Friday night.
 
 
CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR
Dr. Zev Rav-Noy (center) prays with other men at the Chabad of Oxnard Seder on Friday night. Rabbi Dov Muchnik and his wife, Racheli, conducted the Seder.
 
 
CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR
Chanie Rav-Noy (top) and her sister Shaina light candles at the Chabad of Oxnard Seder on Friday night. Rabbi Dov Muchnik and his wife, Racheli, conducted the observation of the start of Passover.
 
CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR
Rabbi Dov Muchnik is shown before the Seder on Friday night.
 
 
CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR
Michoel Muchnik (center) climbs stairs to pray with other men before the Chabad of Oxnard Seder on Friday night. 
Muchnik Girls before Seder 2015.jpg 

 
 
 
 

 

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