Happy Passover! Chag Sameach!

Today is the first full day of Passover, which began last night with the first seder, or ceremonial meal. Tonight there will be second seder, and then a holiday week will follow. We wish all our friends who are celebrating a very Happy Passover.

Matzohs  Passover
Shmura matzoh, made by hand.

Every spring, Jewish families around the world come together to tell each other a hallowed story of slavery and redemption, to remind themselves why “this night is different than all other nights,” and to partake in a holiday that’s existed, relatively unchanged, for thousands of years.

passover-haggadah-new-revised-edition-by-rabbi-nathan-goldberg-large-4

There’s much to love about Pesach, as it is called in Hebrew: the gathering of family and friends, the beauty of the prayers and songs, the crazed fervor with which children scour the house looking for the afikomen (a piece of matzoh that is hidden, treasure-hunt style), the pillow you get to recline upon, as well as the four whole cups of wine one is commanded by the almighty to consume throughout the evening.

But the best part – at least for the food obsessed, like us – is that the core of Passover is a huge meal, one of personal and religious significance. Every seder guest knows to expect the basics: a fruity, nutty charoset, parsley, horseradish, a roasted lamb shank, and matzoh, the famous unleavened bread.

And of course, there is a full meal tucked into the hours of reading the haggadah, the order of service for a seder, which tells the story of the holiday.

Passover plate Judah Gross flickr
Passover seder plate, photo: Judah Gross, flickr.

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