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Teaneck Synagogue Burning Bread Ahead Of Passover

Rabbi Lawrence Zierler with the dumpster to be used for the bread burn at the Jewish Center of Teaneck - Teaneck, NJ - Apr 5, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Rabbi Lawrence Zierler with the dumpster to be used for the bread burn at the Jewish Center of Teaneck – Teaneck, NJ – Apr 5, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

TEANECK, NJ (CBSNewYork) - Passover starts at sundown Friday.

For many Jewish people, that means no eating bread for the next eight days.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

This evening, a dumpster in the parking lot of the Jewish Center of Teaneck will symbolically be filled with bread and set on fire.

“It’s mandated in Jewish law. Have the search and then take those pieces from the search and burn them the next day,” Rabbi Lawrence Zierler told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Last year’s burn drew over 600 people.

Rabbi Lawrence Zierler participates in a previous bread burn (credit: Rabbi Lawrence Zierler via Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Rabbi Lawrence Zierler participates in a previous bread burn (credit: Rabbi Lawrence Zierler via Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“It’s just a constant stream of people. You’ll look up in the corner over here, along side of the playground, and they’ll just keep on coming, and it’s just such a beautiful sight to see,” Zierler said. “It’s sort of like the Exodus story. Moses says to Pharaoh when he asks ‘Who’s going to leave Egypt? Who are you taking with you?’ He said, ‘With our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters.'”

This symbolic burning will consist of ten pieces of bread.

“It does not mean that one should take large stores of leavened products and throw them into the fire,” said the rabbi.

That bread, he says, should be locked up or donated to a food pantry.

Zierler is also the Teaneck fire department’s chaplain and says he originated the event with safety in mind.

What do you make of the ritual? Sound off in our comments section below.