PASSOVER: Exodus and Elation

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Passover is an essential Jewish holiday that tells the story of the Jewish people’s escape from enslavement in ancient Egypt. Steeped in tradition, storytelling, and celebration, it is one of the most commonly celebrated Jewish holidays. This year, Passover will be celebrated from sundown on Friday, April 15 until sundown on Saturday, April 23.

Passover commemorates the redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. The first two nights feature a Seder, a festive ritual feast often celebrated with large groups of friends and family, where we read the Passover story from a book called a Haggadah. The story recounts the bitterness of our enslavement, the infliction of the Ten Plagues upon the Egyptians, and our eventual Exodus from Egypt. In essence, we relive the experience of moving from enslavement to freedom.

A main component of celebrating Passover is abstaining from eating Hametz, or any food with a leavening agent in it. Leavening agents include yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. For the full eight days of the holiday, we eat Matzah (unleavened bread) and other similar replacements. The easiest way to serve Passover safe meals is by picking foods that are naturally gluten free or ones that are marked as “Kosher for Passover.”

To learn more about the history and traditions of Passover, click here to check out the April 2022 issue of the JFS Jewish Journal.