Tonight at sundown, Passover begins for Jewish people all over the world, but yesterday an entirely different group broke matzo for a seder—their dogs. Nature’s Pet in Salem, Oregon, hosted the event, which they called a celebration of freedom, spring and rebirth. Rabbi Eli Solomon presided over a five-minute remembrance of the Israelites’ escape from slavery in the land of Egypt. It also included a (very) brief discussion of the role dogs played in the story of Passover. If you didn’t know, which we certainly did not, the Egyptian dogs, which were trained to bark if any Jewish slaves tried to escape, remained silent all night, allowing the Israelites to make it to the Red Sea. At that point God took over and you know what happens next. The seder concluded with the dogs’ version of an afikomen search, as they looked for lamb bones buried around the yard and, for some reason, an Easter egg hunt—apparently the folks in Salem wanted to keep their seder nondenominational.
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