Passover A to Z

Pesach is the Hebrew word for Passover that is being celebrated by Jewish people to commemorate the Jewish exodus from being the slaves of the Egyptians. The Passover holiday derived from the Hebrew Bible, wherein the Hebrew term Pesach define the Passover sacrifice of the Jews, commonly known as Paschal Lamb. It is also stated in the Hebrew Bible that Pesach also refers to the pass over of the Lord God to the Jewish homes in Egypt when He sent the 10 plagues for the first-born Egyptians. The Passover celebration refers to the freedom of the Israelites from the cruel hands of King Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt. The Passover celebration is also celebrated through retelling the story of the exodus from the Land of Egypt and considered as the powerful metaphor that is being appreciated by the Jewish people as well as the people with a different faith.

How Jewish People Celebrated the Passover Celebration?

The Passover is being celebrated for eight days in Diaspora and seven days in Israel. The Hebrew word Seder, which means order, is the major event during the Passover holiday. Seder is the meal of the festival wherein Haggadah is being recited orderly. Haggadah refers to the writings related to the story of Exodus. During the whole celebration of the Passover holiday, eating leavened foods and other products such as pasta, bread, and others, is prohibited for the Jews. It is because according to the tradition of Jewish people, it was stated that in their hurry to be free from the slavery I Egypt, they did not have sufficient time waiting for the bread to rise. Instead of eating leavened bread, Jewish people prefer to eat matzah, which is the unleavened food such as bread, pasta and more. Hiding the afikoman is one of the different games that were conducted during the Passover Seder, wherein the afikoman will be placed between two different matzahs and will be hidden for the Jewish children find for it. After finding the afikoman, Jewish kids will be awarded by different prices such as candies, foods and more.

For the traditions of the Jewish people, it is a custom for them to remove all the leavened foods and products inside a Jewish home that is commonly known as the chametz. Some Jewish people prefer to burn the chametz or biur chametz. Other Jews prefer to hide the leavened foods and products in an area in their house wherein nobody can see it. They also sell their chametz to a non-Jews friend. A local synagogue can only do all of these.

The Passover Process

The main idea of this article is all about the process of Passover celebration.

A Month before the Passover Celebration

A.    The Jewish families will start to learn and study the Passover holidays as well as the Jewish laws.

B.    Jewish families will start to conduct the house cleaning process. A Jewish family will start to inspect each area of their house and get rid of all the marks of the leavened foods and other products. Take a look for the hidden traces of the fermented drinks, crunchy chocolate, sort of crumbs and different food products that contain grain. You can also list all the rooms that your house had and check it if you are done inspecting it. Implement the house rules before the celebration of the Passover holiday. No leavened foods and products that will remain in the kitchen. After eating, all the clothes must be changed with a new one, and the hands must be washed thoroughly.

C.    Make an area inside your house wherein you will put all the leavened food products or chametz that you may sell for the entire duration of the Passover holiday. This area can be an area in your basement, a cabinet in your room or kitchen or your closet, any area in your house that is inaccessible and lockable to you and your family member for the whole celebration of Passover holiday.

D.    Arrange properly all the chametz items that you want to sell with a non-Jewish friend. But before selling your chametz items, you need to fill up a form and send it to the nearest Rabbi in your area, referring that you are giving to him the work of selling all your leavened foods and other items before the Passover celebration. It is also preferable for you to sell your chametz items online through your social media accounts.

E.    Purchase the different items that are essential for the Passover holiday celebration. You are required to buy kosher wines and matzah foods before the celebration of the Passover. After buying these items, keep it in a safe place wherein you can ensure that these items will not be in any contact with your chametz items. If you don’t have a Seder inside your home, you can contact the nearest Chabad-Lubavitch in your area that is always ready and willing to find you your Seder place.

 A Few Days before the Passover Holiday Celebration

F.    You can now start your work on making your kitchen ready for the Passover Celebration. Store the different eating tools and equipment that you already used for the entire year and seal or lock it in the safe area in your house such as a lockable cabinet. Store the different non-kosher foods and items inside your kitchen and lock it or seal it inside your cabinet. Once you are done cleaning your kitchen, conduct the different methods and processes to make your kitchen and your kitchen tools and equipment a kosher one that will be ready for the Passover. This time that your kitchen is free from the non-kosher items in preparation for the upcoming Passover holiday celebration, you are only allowed to eat the kosher foods and use the kosher eating utensils in that area. If you are not yet ready to begin the eating for your kosher foods and other kosher products, you are allowed to purchase a ready to eat food and start eating it outside of your house or in the area where you place your chametz that will be sold for the entire Passover duration.

G.    Have a tock from your Passover inventory. Begin to prepare the special dishes for the Passover celebration. You can take out your silver items from its place. Make sure that you will polish the silver item. Keep in mind that it is a custom for the Jewish families to have their Haggadahs as the preparation for the Seder meal.

H.    You can now start your Passover shopping. Purchase all the required ingredients for the Seder meal and the general food items for the Passover holiday celebration. Place all of these in your empty cabinets and refrigerator that you have been cleaned thoroughly. Make sure that these areas must be free from the non-Passover foods and items. After purchasing all your needed ingredients, you can now start cooking the kosher food dishes for the Passover holiday celebration that can only be eaten in your Passover kitchen.

I.    Keep in mind that you need to have your Passover shoes and clothes polished, ironed and ready to wear. You can also purchase a gift for yourself such as a new outfit, tie, or even a pair of shoes.

Thursday Night (24 Hours before the Celebration of Passover Holiday)

J.    This time, you are required to start the ritual on searching the leavened foods and other items. Have a feather, a spoon and a candle in your hands and try to find any forgotten or remaining leavened products inside your Jewish house.

Friday Morning

K.    If you are a father of a firstborn son, or you are the first born son of a Jewish father, and still in the age of bar mitzvah, you need to be present for the siyum feast or other bar mitzvah feast for you to be able to absolved as the ‘’ fast of the firstborn.”

L.    The last time that you will eat the leavened products and foods that is commonly known in the term chametz will be done one to two hours before the midday. When this time had passed, you are now prohibited not to eat chametz or any leavened foods and products until the Passover festival is finished. The last time that you can remove all the leavened products and foods inside your Jewish house is an hour before the midday. Through this hour, all the areas such as your cabinets where the leavened items and foods are stores must be sealed or locked.

M.    This time, you are now required to burn all the leftover learned foods and items that have not been sold to a non-Jewish friend, including all the things that you have found during the Thursday night, the time for researching the forgotten or remaining leavened products and other chametz items. You are also required to recite the nullification statement, which renounces all the leavened products and items in your possession that will remain as your ownership.

Friday Afternoon

N.    This time, you are now required to prepare for the Seder meals and dishes. You must prepare all the things you need for the Seder plate, arrange the table, and conduct the last-minute items and things that you will do for the Seder dishes.

O.    You are also required to recite the Order of the Passover Offering, reliving and recalling the Korban Passover or Korban Pesach, which you will offer for the Holy Temple in this time.

P.    This time, you need to light up all of Passover candle to usher the Passover Holiday Celebration. You must light the Passover candles before the sunset. This is one of the different rules and regulations that were implemented by the Jewish laws.

Q.    This time, you must visit the synagogue and conduct the evening Passover celebration services. Passover services include the recitation of the special Hallel prayer.

R.    Hold first all the Passover Seder. This time, you must follow the first 15 steps, and you must recite the Haggadah, reliving and retelling the story of the Exodus from the Land o Egypt and enjoy eating the bitter herbs, matzahs and drinking the kosher wines. During the midnight of the Passover Celebration, you are required to eat the afikoman or the broken matzah.

Sabbath Morning

S.    This time, you are required to go to the synagogue and conduct the different prayer services for the Passover holiday celebration. These Passover prayer services include the special prayer meant for the dew and the reading of the Hebrew Bible that is commonly known as the Torah.

After Sabbath

T.    The counting for Omer will start this time. Countries that are located outside Jerusalem, which is considered as the Holy Land, this time, the second day for the hollowed festival day or the Yom Tov will start. This is the repeated scene for the first night of the hollowed festival. You are required to light up the Yom Tov candles through the pre-existing flame. Why the pre-existing flame? It is because it is prohibited for the Jewish people to make a new flame during the Yom Tov festival after the nightfall. The whole Seder will be repeated this time. And this time, you can do this until the next day. The next day is considered as the second day of the Yom Tov festival, wherein you are required to go to the synagogue to conduct some Passover prayers while reading the Hebrew Bible or the Torah.

Sunday Night

U.    This time, Jewish people already celebrated the four intermediate days of the Passover holiday. You should conduct the ritual of Havdalah, which is composed of the candle and sans incense, which marks the end of the Passover holiday. You can enjoy this four intermediate days through retelling the Exodus story from the Land of Egypt, family trips with the use of a car that was cleaned thoroughly, cooking for the kosher Passover foods, eating matzah and drinking kosher wines. It is still considered as a Passover holiday, so Jews do not eat chametz or any leavened foods and other items. But the activities that are not allowed during the last and first two days of the holiday will be permitted this time.

Thursday evening

V.    This time, you can now begin the last two days of the Passover holiday. You are required to light up the Passover candles and enjoy the festival deals during the Sabbath afternoon, Friday afternoon and night and Thursday night. It is a custom for the Jewish people to remain awake on the time when the Sea of Reeds split into two and study the Hebrew Bible all through the night.

Sabbath Morning

W.    This time, you need to recite the memorial prayers or the Yizkor for your departed parents that will be followed by the Torah reading during the services of the morning prayer.

Sabbath Afternoon

X.    As time passes by, you are required to spend the remaining hours of the Passover holiday with the presence of Moshiach’s Meal. This is a special meal that will commemorate the Redemption of the Jewish people against the Egyptians. The Jews spent their eight days or the celebration of the exodus from the Land of Egypt. Now that the Passover holiday will end, Jews will hope and pray to have a brighter and happier future.

After Sabbath

Y.    During the nightfall, the Passover holiday will end. Make sure that you will have the Havdalah with the last cup of your kosher wine. This time, you can now store all the Haggadah, Passover dishes and any other Passover items in a cabinet and seal it for the celebration of Passover next year. And you can now enjoy eating chametz foods such as bread, pizza and drinking chametz drinks such as beers and more.

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