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The World

Israelis prepared for traditional seder meals tonight starting the Jewish festival of Passover. The eight-day holiday, which commemorates the flight of the biblical Israelites from Egypt, had some secular effects: The Histadrut labor federation and the Civil Service Commission agreed to grant leave for all but essential government employees, and the army canceled its central seder because of budgetary constraints. During the seders, Jews in Israel and worldwide will recount the biblical story in chanted questions and responses.


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