GREENBURGH, N.Y. On the eve of one of the most celebrated holiday on the Jewish calendar, Greenburgh shoppers were scrambling to fill their cupboards.
Last-minute food shoppers scoured the shelves of supermarkets and delis Thursday, stocking up on kosher dishes for the two-day Seder dinner that kicks-off a week of Passover.
At Seasons supermarket in Scarsdale, Glenn Gabin said his wife has been prepping for two weeks in anticipation of the holiday which starts Friday at sundown and continues Saturday evening.
Its really a special celebration, said Gabin, who took off a week of work to help prepare for the feast. And anytime its a celebration, you go to a higher level.
Gabin said he and his wife will entertain 35 guests during their Seder dinners, serving more than 30 dishes. On the menu are things like gefilte fish, chicken soup, brisket, sweet and sour meatballs, potato casserole and matzo balls.
Woodlands Community Temple Cantor Jonathon Gordon said that because breads and starchy dishes are banned over the holiday, Jews have had to get creative. The irony of Seder is that even though they give up many foods, Jewish families actually eat better than any other time of the year, Gordon said.
Jewish homemakers have responded to challenge over the years and this is when Jewish cooks take out their finest achievements, he said.
But its not just the homemakers who are putting in extra work to prepare for the Seder feast. A number of kosher restaurants are working overtime as the holiday approaches.
For us this is the busiest days of the year without a doubt, said Jerry Heidstra, manager of Epsteins Deli on Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale.
The deli features a five-course Seder dinner and a separate Passover menu. And because traditional Seder dinners are held in the home, Heidstra said the restaurant has been flooded with take-out and catering orders.
But Passover its not just about the food, Jewish shoppers pointed out. The holiday, which celebrates the Jews freedom from slavery, is about reflection, thanksgiving and family.
Its the rethinking of freedom and a holiday of helping, Gabin said.
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