By Roland Jiang and Derek Winsor

What is Pesach?

Pesach is Hebrew for "Passover." It is a major festival that occurs in spring, lasting seven days or eight outside of Israel. Mostly, the Jews remember leaving slavery in Egypt. The name came from the idea that when God sent a punishment to Egypt in order to convince the Pharaoh to release his people, God “passed over” the Hebrews and spared them.

Jews are required to have a family meal on the first night of Passover that reminds them of the holiday. This ritual is called the Seder or "order" in Hebrew. The meal mostly consists of symbolic food that reminds them of the past. It is traditional for the youngest child to ask questions about Passover which the leader/father answers.

Passover always starts on the 15th day of the Jewish month, Nissan. The next Passover of 2015 begins in the evening of Friday, April 3 and ends in the evening of Saturday, April 11.

Did you know?

The Israelites needed to leave Egypt in a hurry, they didn't have time for bread to rise. So they ate a simple bread made from flour and water called Matzah. To remember the haste, Jews eat Matzah instead of regular bread.
The typical Seder plate includes symbolic food that teaches the Passover story. The picture shows bitter herbs to represent the bitterness of slavery, roasted lamb as in the lambs sacrificed by the Israelites to God, a nut and fruit mixture which symbolizes the mortar the slaves used to build temples, an egg for sacrifice, and vegetables representing spring. jews also eat Matzah and drink salt water to remind them of the tears of slavery.
A Jewish family is celebrating Seder by following the Haggadah which is a Jewish book that has the steps of Seder written in it. The specific tasks are followed in a certain order.


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