Welcome to Passover!
A very long time ago, an Egyptian Pharaoh
forced the Jews to live as slaves, and to
build him cities and palaces. The Jews
prayed to God, begging Him to help.
God told a wise man named Moses to lead
them out of Egypt. The Pharaoh would not
allow this to happen, and he did not believe
that Moses had been given the task by God.
When God learned of this, He struck
Egypt with a series of plagues. God had
the Angel of Death destroy the first born
boy in every Egyptian family. God told
Moses to have the Jews make a special
lamb offering so that Death would
pass over their homes. The Pharaoh
finally let them go. The picture above is
Matzah, which is a flat bread that people
of the Jewish religion often eat during
Pesach (Passover). It is eaten to remind the Jewish people that the Jews left Egypt so suddenly, that the bread they were baking did not have time to rise. Passover begins on the 15th of Nisan, and ends on the 22nd, which can occur during March or April. In the weeks before Passover, houses are cleaned, and any food that contains yeast is either thrown away, or eaten. The first day of the festival, everyone is dressed in their best clothes, and they sit at the family table to prepare for Seder, and the reading of the Haggadah. The Haggadah is a book that tells the story of Passover. Seder is the meal in which everyone is reminded of why Passover is celebrated. Some of the things that might be eaten during Seder are:
- Matzah; the thin bread known as "the bread of slavery and affliction."
- Bitter herbs that are eaten to remind everyone of the bitterness of slavery.
- Karpas; leafy green parsely to celebrate Spring.
- Wine to symbolize liberty and joy.
- Haroset; a mixture a fruit, nuts, and wine, that resembles the mortar the Jewish slaves used.
- Zroa; which is a roasted bone to remind the Jewish people of the lamb sacrifice the Jews offered to God.
- Baytzah; a hard-boiled egg, which is a symbol of new life.
- And a bowl of salt water, to dip food in, which will taste as salty as the tears the Jews shed as slaves.