The Passover also known as Pesach is an important, biblically derived Jewish holiday. The Jews celebrate Passover as a commemoration of the liberation of the children of Israel by God from slavery, in ancient Egypt through the leadership of Moses. The Passover celebrations last eight days with the first and last days observed as Sabbath, having prayers and visits to the synagogue. During this period, Jews should not partake in eating and drinking as well as owning chametz (chometz), special bread made from grain and water, and allowed to rise. The Passover is regarded as the festival of freedom.
The Passover Seder
This is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover. It is observed globally on the evening of the 15th day of Nisan, in the Hebrew calendar. The Seder ritual is performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family. It involves narration of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Seder customs include reading the story from the Haggadah, and discussing the story. It also include drinking four cups of wine, where everyone is obliged to drink each cup during the reading of the Haggadah at every expression of God’s promise of deliverance. In addition, there is eating matza, which entails partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate. The rituals and symbolic foods always highlight the themes of freedom and slavery.
The Seder Plate
This is a special plate containing symbolic foods used during the Passover Seder. The plate contains six main foods maror, chazeret, charoset, karpas, zeroa, and beitzah. Arrangement of the food on the plate is in a way that significantly aids in the unfolding of the story on the Jews Exodus from Egypt. Maror and chazeret are bitter herbs used to symbolize bitterness and harshness of the slavery, which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt. Charoset is a sweet, brown paste of fruits and nuts, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the Egyptian storehouses. Karpas is a vegetable other than bitter herbs, such as parsley, which is dipped into salt water, vinegar or charoset at the beginning of the Seder. Zeroa is a bone of roasted lamb or goat, that represents the korban Pesach sacrifice (Pesach sacrifice ), symbolizing the pilgrim festival held at Temple at Jerusalem during which the jews sacrifices a goat or lamb. Beitzah is a hard-boiled egg, unlike most foods that become softer and tender upon boiling, the egg hardens. This symbolizes the Jews resilience and determination not to abandon their faith amidst Egyptian oppression.
Order of the Seder
The Hagaddah contains the order and procedures of the Seder. Get the order of the Seder and celebrate Passover. The Seder is followed by a festive meal, which varies greatly among households but may include chicken, salmon, or beef brisket and unleavened bread is served because the Israelites fled from Egypt, the bread dough had not had a chance to rise.