Well...it is THAT time of the year again
PASSOVER is here.
This is a very important Jewish Holiday and we celebrate it for a whole week.
I'm sure you've all read Exodous.....
The Jews left Egypt en mass after witnessing the ten plagues that God brought down upon the Egyptians.
every man, woman and child saw the miracles and felt the fear and joy of release from bondage.
When we sit down to the Passover Seder (meal), we are not only participating in a mitzvah (good deed) , we are continuing a chain of national tradition which passes over to the next generation
and there are many traditional foods we eat at Passover as well as many cups of wine !
First we wash our hands with a significant ritual. The link shows a short UTube video how "how to"
this would be an old traditional Haggadah cover
and this would be a more modern version
(same story, same rituals tho!)
Accordingly, the seder is one of the most sensory-heavy rituals of the Jewish year. During the seder, we don't just tell the story of the Exodus, we see, smell, feel, and taste liberation.
we eat Matzah...unleavened bread...for a week.
So Bye Bye real bread !!!...for a week ! Bye Bye pizza...bye bye anything with leavening that rises....Oy vey !
and WHY do we eat Matzah you ask...well....it is said that the Israelites left Egypt in such haste they could not wait for their bread dough to rise; the bread, when baked, was matzah. Matzah, just so you'll know, can be made from any of these 5 grains, wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats...that's it !
Only grains capable of fermentation are valid for the manufacture of matzah, and such grains are therefore limited to the five species. In practice, however, only wheat has been used historically.
we also taste parsley (known in Hebrew as Karpas) because it represents the initial flourishing of the Israelites during the first years in Egypt. In fact, part of the Passover ritual is to dip the parsley in salt water to 'represent' the tears shed in slavery. When you shake the parsely after it's been dipped it 'resembles' tears !
we have a main Seder plate with all the significant foods on it
others of them are:
Maror (Bitter herbs like Horseradish), symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery
Z'Roa... it is special as it is the only element of meat on the Seder Plate. A roasted lamb or goat shankbone, chicken wing, or chicken neck; symbolizing the Passover sacrifice.
Beitzah (the roasted hard boiled egg) symbolizing the festival sacrifice that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem
so...beginning tonight, The First Night of Passover, have some matzah ball soup and, if you meet any Jewish people, you can say
Chag Sameach (KHAHG sah-MEHY-ahkh)
or just simply
Happy Passover !