Passover or Pesach is the most ancient of Jewish holidays, it is associated with one of the most important events in Jewish history – the Exodus from slavery in Egypt about 3,300 years ago, in 2448 on the Jewish calendar. Passover commemorates the chain of events as a result of which the Jews became a nation. Every little child knows the story of Moses and Pharaoh. Liberation of Jews described in uncountable books and movies.
Here we will tell you how Passover is celebrated by Jewish people today.
Before Passover all the leavened products must be taken away from the home. A Housewife cleans every square inch of the house and makes sure that nothing of the forbidden food is left in. During the week of Passover we eat only unleavened bread – Matzah, which reminds us about the haste in which Jews had to flee Egypt and also the difficulties of their life of forty years of wondering in desert.
To celebrate Passover we get together with our family and friends for the special ceremony called Passover Seder. “Seder” means “order” in Hebrew. We feast and read the book of Haggadah – our guide of how to remember those glorious events in the right order. Haggadah book tells us the story of Exodus and gives us instructions on how to celebrate Passover.
A beautiful table is set with the best china, silver tableware and white tablecloth. It wouldn’t be a mistake to say that this tradition is a highlight of the year for many Jewish houses.
The heart of the Seder table is the Seder Plate.
It is a special plate for symbolic foods that we are eating during the course of Seder. Also we use a Matzah Tash (special cover for the Matzah) and Kiddush Cup, or Cup of Elijah.
As we read Haggadah, remembering those events, our souls are filled with amazing perception of ourselves being a part of something big and divine. It’s almost like we’ve witnessed with our own eyes the miraculous hand of the Almighty when He sent the Ten Plagues to punish Egyptians and when He opened the waters of the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass and escape from the Pharaoh’s legions.
We are proud to be a part of this great nation, commanded to retain and pass its traditions through centuries.
And we never forget to say “L’shannah haba’ah be’yerushalayim” – Next Year in Jerusalem!