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Busy religious weekend with both Good Friday and Passover on the same day

Posted at 5:41 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 20:11:11-04

It will be a busier weekend than usual with two big religious holidays coinciding. The Christian and Jewish communities will observe in their own ways through the weekend.

For Good Friday, there will be more than one fish fry throughout the city. One of the biggest is at Serb Hall.

Catholics give up meat for Lent to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. They eat fish in place on Fridays. Some 2,000 people were expected to come through Serb Hall, both inside and through its drive-thru. Families have been doing it for years.

"I worked here from 1977 through college in 1985," Jerry Powers of Milwaukee said. "I think this is the best fish fry in the city. The fish, the cole slaw, the bread, the french fries. This is the best."

While Good Friday is considered a somber holiday, remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, the Jewish Community celebrates the first night of Passover; the Jews liberation from Egyptian bondage some 3,000 years ago.

"The heart of the slave beats within us," Rabbi Marc Berkson with Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun said. "The story of that, in many ways, is the universal story that takes us from slavery to freedom, in the sense that one day, we hope maybe all of us will be free."

Jewish people will observe the holiday with family and friends, enjoying specific kosher foods and sharing the story of Passover.

At Metro Market in Mequon, it was busier than usual for an early Friday afternoon. Many were crowded around the Kosher sections of the supermarket to pick up some last minute finishing touches for the celebration.

"I'm on the hunt for gefilte fish and horseradish," Linda Merkel of Milwaukee said.

Merkel couldn't find gefilte fish and said, "This is the 11th plague of Passover." Her humor is symbolic of the glee felt by many in preparation for this family-oriented holiday.

"My favorite tradition is celebrating with community," Ben Rechavel of Glendale said. "I grew up doing Passover Seder with my community and family and we're doing that tonight. We're not having our celebration at home but in the synagogue with lots of other people."

Tonight's Seder starts tonight at sunset. Many Christians will celebrate Easter on Sunday.