What is Passover?
Passover is an eight day celebration that commemorates the Israelites emancipation from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is a chance for us to remember that we as a people were once enslaved and be thankful for our freedom. Furthermore, I believe it is also a time for us to remember the people in today's world who are not free and that it is our duty to promote freedom for all.
How do you celebrate Passover?
The main celebration of Passover is with a Seder, a big traditional meal during which you tell the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Everyone at the table receiving a Haggadah, a liturgy that describes in detail the story of the exodus from Egypt, and we go around the table and take turns reading the story aloud.
If you are curious about what a Passover Haggadah looks like, I encourage you to download this free version. This is what Neill and I used when we hosted our own Seder last year.
While reading the story, there are a variety of traditional things we eat. For example, we eat matzah to commemorate the unleavened bread the Israelites ate because they had to leave Egypt in such a hurry and bitter herbs (called maror), like horseradish, as a symbolic remembrance of the bitterness of slavery. One of my favorite traditional foods is charoset, a mixture of minced apple, nuts, and wine that resembles the mortar Jews used in their labor in ancient Egypt. There is nothing more delicious than a matzah, horsradish, and charoset sandwich. Wine is also a big part of the Seder and at various points throughout the Haggadah we are instructed to refill our wine glasses. Besides these symbolic foods, at the end of the Seder we also eat a big family dinner with matzah ball soup and brisket.
Photo by Lara Ferroni, via epicurious
Matzah Ball Soup, via
President Obama at a Seder, via the huffington post
I hope you've enjoyed reading a little bit about my favorite holiday! This year, Neill and I are going to a Seder at my mother's house. I'll be sure to share pictures next week. Do you celebrate passover or have you ever been to a Passover Seder before? What was the experience like for you? What is your favorite holiday?