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Frequently Asked Question

What is Passover?

Passover (Hebrew: Pesach) is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the Jewish tradition. Through the Passover Seder, a ritual meal, Jews today retell the story of their ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt.

How do we celebrate it?

Passover is celebrated with the Seder, a retelling of the Haggadah, the Passover story, with family and friends. A seder plate is set on the table containing symbolic foods such as Matzah, a flat unleavened substitute for bread. Matzah is eaten on Passover because Jewish law forbids eating or owning any food that contains leaven, a tribute to the Israelites who didn’t have time to let bread rise before fleeing Egypt. The prohibition against eating and owning leavened bread has lent itself to extensive cleaning in homes and kitchens before the holiday.

What does it mean?

The main theme of Passover is redemption, and that the Hebrews with the help of God’s direction of Moses were freed from bondage and went from slavery to freedom.

What is the history behind Passover

In ancient Israelite times, Passover began as a Spring celebration of the first grain harvest. In Temple times, Passover was one of three pilgrimage holidays and had a special sacrifice associated with it called the korban pesach, or Pascal sacrifice. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the focus of Passover shifted to the Seder.

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