Pass the Matzah!
Jewish Passover is a very important time in Jewish History.
It marks the time when G-d took the Jews out of Egypt.
Every year, Jews celebrate this time with a Passover Seder.
Let us explain what we do and why we do it:
What is Jewish Passover?
Jewish Passover is known as Pesach for Jews.
The whole idea of Pesach is to go out of your limitations.
Pesach is called 'The Holiday of Freedom'
This is the time of the year when G-d took the Jews out of Egypt.
Egypt is a Country, however in Judaism it is also seen as a state of mind.
A state of limitation is anything that limits you so you are no longer free to do what you want to do.
When Moshe Rabbeinu came down from The Mountain right after Pesach, he brought down The Torah.
And The Torah is true freedom.
'Doing whatever you want' is not really freedom. That is just being wild without having any boundaries.
The real freedom is when you are happy, content and nothing limits you.
And that is what The Torah provides.
When is Jewish Passover?
Pesach begins on the 15th of Nissan and starts with a Seder Night which will be explained later on in this article.
Pesach lasts for 7 days where Jews do not eat bread of any kind.
As a substitute for bread, Jews are Commanded to eat Matzah for the entire 7 days of Pesach.
What is Matzah? (Matzo)
When G-d took the Jews out of Egypt, the Jews left with dough on their backs and did not have time to bake it.
The dough turned into what we know as Matzah which is an unleavened bread.
2 Weeks Before Jewish Passover
In the two weeks approaching Passover, Jewish Families will physically clean any Chametz (bread) in their homes.
As alluded to earlier, on the night of the Passover Seder, it is the time where we can break out of our limitations.
The night of freedom.
Because of this, there has to be preparations for this special night.
Jews need to be on their best behaviour leading up to The Passover Seder.
The reason Jews physically clean their homes leading up to Passover is because in order to receive The Holy Blessing during The Passover Seder, everything needs to be cleaned.
Both physically and spiritually.
What is The Passover Seder?
The Jewish Seder happens on the First Night of Passover and is celebrated with Friends and Family.
It is considered to be 'The Holiest Time of The Year'
During The Passover Seder, The table of guests will all have a Haggadah.
The Haggadah informs the table of the order in which to celebrate The Seder and also Songs and Blessings to Recite.
Listing the entire Passover Seder be far too long for an article so allow us to simplify some of the Customs and why we do them:
Jews eat Matzah to remind them of the times that G-d took us out of Egypt
Drink 4 Cups of Wine
Each cup has a special meaning that all centre around G-d redeeming The Jewish People
There is a final 5th Cup of Wine for Elijah and the future redemption when Moshiach arrives.
Dip hard boiled egg in salt water
We use salt water to remind us of the tears shed during the slavery
Eat Bitter Herbs
We use bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of slavery
Charoset is a delicious spread with apples, nuts, cinnamon and some other ingredients. It balances out the bitterness of slavery with the optimism for the future.
Have a Shankbone / Zeroa on the Seder table
The Shankbone is roasted and not eaten. It is a Pesach Offering at the Seder Table.
There are many other Customs that are followed during the Seder Night that remind us about leaving Egypt, however we need not go on explaining every detail at the Seder.
During The 7 Days of Pesach
During the 7 days of Pesach, Jews do not eat any bread.
This also extends out to oats, spelt, rye or anything else that can be classified as bread.
Instead, Matzah is eaten and it is delicious with butter and sugar!
There you have it!
The Jewish Passover (Pesach) explained for you.
It is an extremely Holy Festival for Jews and spiritually, a time for us to go out of your limitations.
Until next time!
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