Passover (called the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Torah) is a biblical Jewish holiday, the first of the three pilgrimage festivals. During Temple times, Jews would travel from around the country to mark the festival in Jerusalem. Passover is celebrated for seven days from the 15th to the 21st of the Hebrew month of Nissan. On the first and last days of the holiday there is a prohibition of work, as on the Sabbath, while on the intermediate days, there are fewer religious restrictions.
What does the holiday celebrate?
Passover marks the departure of the children of Israel (in the year 2448 of the Hebrew calendar) from Egypt, going from being slaves to freedom. It is written in the Torah, “And you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the God’s passover, for He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt.”
Main aspects of the holiday:
- Eating matzah and telling the story of the Exodus on the first night of the holiday which is Seder night. The custom is to drink four glasses of wine.
- During the period of the Temple, a Jews made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where on the Temple Mount they would offer the Passover sacrifice.
Have a happy Passover!
Rabbi Moshe Reiss
Director of Religious Zionism Administration
Ono Academic College