05 April 2012, 10:02
Russian business representatives conduct three-day pilgrimage in Israel's desert
Jerusalem, April 5, Interfax - A group of leading Russian business representatives of Jewish origin on Tuesday started a three-day pilgrimage in Israel ahead of Passover, one of the greatest Jewish holidays.
The pilgrimage organized by the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) involves patrons and leading members of the congress: RJC President Yury Kanner, owner of AlfaGroup Mikhail Friedman, president of Skolkovo business school Andrey Rappoport, president of Unikum group Boris Belotserkovsky, co-owner of Otkrytiye financial company Boris Mints, RJC director Benny Briskin and other members of the Russian business elite, RJC press secretary Mikhail Savin told Interfax-Religion.
The pilgrimage began in Arava desert near the town of Tsofar and will end in Jerusalem on Friday. "The pilgrims will cover the distance in the desert by foot in conditions comparable to biblical times," the press secretary said.
On the last day of the journey the businessmen will make matzo according to an old recipe and have the Passover Seder Friday evening in Jerusalem.
"The difficult journey that will become a serious spiritual and physical test for the participants will return them to the tradition of ancient Hebrews to make pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem," Savin said.
Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar (this year the first day of Passover is April 7) and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays. It celebrates the Exodus, the freedom from slavery of the children of Israel from ancient Egypt.
After leaving Egypt and becoming free the biblical Hebrews wandered in the desert for 40 years suffering from various privations before they found the Promised Land.
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