What is Passover?

Passover is a holiday that usually comes in the spring time around Easter.

Passover is a holiday that usually comes in the springtime around Easter.

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In Hebrew, Passover is Pesach, according to the “Today” show. It is an eight-day celebration that starts at sundown. It commemorates when the Jewish people escaped from slavery in ancient Egypt.

What is Passover?

“It’s a celebration of not only the freedom of the Jewish people emerging from slavery in Egypt, and a tradition that results that is about remembering, and really putting ourselves in the shoes of those slaves and those who experienced the release from bondage, but also it reminds us of the freedom of all people,” Rabbi Benjamin Berger, vice president of Jewish education at Hillel International said, according to USA Today.

Berger said that Passover is known as the “festival of freedom,” USA Today reported.

The holiday is celebrated with unleavened bread called matzah, according to Chabad. The reason is because when they fled from Egypt, there was very little time to wait for the dough to rise so they carried it with them, CBS News reported. The dough cooked in the sun and became what is known as matzah today.

Many Jewish people will change their daily lives around the holiday, according to the Today Show. That includes not eating food that has leavened grain and bread products. Instead, many will eat food made with matzah. Many grocery stores have an area designated for the holiday with matzah meal, cake meal, cake making kits, macaroons and so forth.

When is Passover?

Passover this year starts Monday, April 22 with a seder and goes through April 30 at sundown, according to The Arizona Republic.

What is a seder?

Seders are typically held on the first and second nights of Passover.

It involves dinner with family and other Jewish groups centered around the seder plate. According to USA Today, the seder plate is one that holds symbolic foods. Some items include eating bitter herbs, Chabad said.

Seders use a good called a Haggadah that has prayer, teachings and stories inside it.

“Every single Haggadah will have the same general order of events. Every single Hagaddah is going to have the same central component, but they each have a different take on the story,” Rabbi Maya Zinkow, senior Jewish educator at UC Berkeley Hillel, told USA Today.

History of Passover

Passover comes from the Book of Exodus in the Torah, according to “Today.”

Thousands of years ago, Jewish people were slaves in Egypt. The Pharaoh forced slavery and labor. It made God upset so he sent Moses to convince the Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go. Pharaoh refused so God sent 10 plagues.

The plagues included turning the Nile River into blood, infestations of frogs, lice, and flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness, according to “Today.” The 10th plague was where God had Jews sacrifice a lamb to smear blood on the doorposts of Jewish households. God went to the Egyptian households and killed the firstborn sons of the household. This plague led to Pharaoh letting the Jewish people go.

Pharaoh tried to get the Jewish people to stop but that was the moment when Moses parted the Red Sea, which gave the Jewish people the ability to leave.

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