||Service for the first two nights of Passover, with a Marathi translation by Hyams Ezekiel Penkar, following the rites of the Bene Israel.
The original tradition, is that the Bene Israel are the descendants of the survivors (seven men and seven women) of a shipwreck off the Konkan coast at Navgaon, about 26 miles south of Bombay. Bene Israel tradition tells of a Jew, David Rahabi, who about the year 1000 C.E. (or, some say around 1400 C.E.) discovered the Bene Israel in their villages, recognized their vestigial Jewish customs, and taught them about Judaism, preparing certain young men among them to be the religious preceptors of the Bene Israel. They were called Kajis and their position became hereditary. They were also recognized officially as judges in disputes within the Bene Israel community. Somewhere along the line the Bene Israel formed a special attachment to the Prophet Elijah. They invoke his blessings on all auspicious occasions. Another typically Bene Israel feature is their custom called Malida: i.e., the preparation of a ceremonial food offering (composed of special ingredients) accompanied by recitation of Jewish prayers, psalms, and other appropriate biblical quotations on the occasions of purification after childbirth; preparation for a wedding; when taking, and after completing, a vow; after a circumcision, and for all other auspicious occasions; whenever there is a crisis or need for divine help; for the expression of gratitude to God; and on Tu Bi-Shevat to celebrate the first fruits of their locale, and also to give respect to be Prophet Elijah at Kandala, the place where he is believed to have appeared to the Bene Israel.