COEUR d’ALENE — To reach areas with small Jewish populations, the Roving Rabbis are happy to bring the faith on the road.
"What the Roving Rabbis do is to go to places that there is a small amount of Jews where they can't have a full-time rabbi and share with them the holiday experience," said Rabbi Laibel Shemtov. "We are younger, we’re not married yet, we go out to places that are smaller, where there’s not enough Jews to support a rabbi. We’ll go during the holidays when it’s most important.
Roving Rabbis, based in New York, are dispatched from the Merkos Shlichus Chabad-Lubavitch Student Visitation Program to go out into communities around the world to spread the word of Judaism and provide services for local Jews who might not otherwise have access to be involved in holiday events.
On Friday, Shemtov and Rabbi Yisroel Shemtov will host a Passover Seder meal in the La Quinta Inn in Coeur d'Alene at 7:30 p.m.
"Passover celebrates redemption," Laibel said. "Not only of the first time, but as a constant redemption and future redemption of prayers for the future."
Passover is the major Jewish spring holiday which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. It lasts seven or eight days from the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which usually falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar.
"The Passover meal is a time to recount the story of the exodus from Egypt many years ago, reminding us that we too can celebrate inner freedom, in our personal lives," Laibel said.
The Seder meal consists of a symbolic plate: a shank bone (zeroa) represents sacrifice, an egg (beitzah) represents the circle of life, bitter herbs (maror) stand for the bitterness of slavery, a green leafy vegetable (karpas) represents spring and a sweet paste called haroset symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews in Egypt.
RSVPs are required to attend the Roving Rabbis Passover Seder in Coeur d'Alene. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248-882-7331 to reserve a seat. The La Quinta Inn is located at 333 W. Ironwood Drive.
"We would love to see all the Jews in Idaho joining us," Laibel said.