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Among the people from Eastern Europe, the Easter basket had nothing to do with candy and rabbits. Baskets were filled with symbolic things and taken to church to be blessed. There was bread in the basket to recall how Israel relied on God in the wilderness and to symbolize life. Horseradish was there to suggest the bitterness of Egyptian bondage and the bitterness of Jesus death. Salt was there as a symbol of our common humanity. Ham was there as a reminder that we are not under the old law, which forbade so much, but under the new. Eggs were in the basket, too. They stood for hope and resurrection and life! Whatever our customs, whatever our symbols, Easter always stands for new life, for resurrection, for hope!

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