Saturday, April 23, 2011


Photo of Passover Seder Plate showing (clockwise, beginning from top):maror (romaine lettuce), z'roa (roasted shankbone),
charoset, maror (chrein), karpas (celery sticks), beitzah (roasted egg).
Pesach (Passover, Hebrew: פֶּסַח; transliterated also as pecach, Pesah) "passover" which can refer to:
  1. sacrifice of passover,
  2. animal victim of the passover,
  3. festival of the passover,
which is from the Hebrew Root Word פָּסַח pacach "to pass over, spring over" is a Jewish holiday beginning on the 15th day of Nisan, which falls in the early spring and commemorates the Exodus and freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. Passover marks the "birth" of the Jewish nation, as the Jews were freed from being slaves of Pharaoh and allowed to become servants of God instead.

In most languages of Christian societies, other than English, German and some Slavic languages, the holiday's name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked.

Together with Sukkot (or Succoth) and Shavuot, Passover is one of the three pilgrim festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire Jewish populace made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the days of the Holy Temple.

In Israel, Passover is a 7-day holiday, with the first and last days celebrated as a full festival (involving abstention from work, special prayer services and holiday meals). Outside Israel, the holiday is celebrated for 8 days, with the first two days and last two days celebrated as full festivals. The intervening days are known as Chol HaMoed (festival weekdays).
Passover in 2011 will start on sunset of Monday, the 18th of April and will continue for 7 days until Wednesday, the 26th of April.
The primary symbol of Passover is the matzo, a flat, unleavened bread which recalls the bread that the Israelites ate after their hasty departure from Egypt. According to Halakha, this bread is made from a dough of flour and water only, which has not been allowed to rise for more than 18–22 minutes. Many Jews observe the positive Torah commandment of eating matzo on the first night, as well as the Torah prohibition against eating or owning any leavened products — such as bread, cake, cookies, or pasta (anything whose dough has been mixed with a leavening agent or which has been left to rise more than 18–22 minutes) — for the duration of the holiday.


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