Passover Holiday Guide
Ideas & Inspiration
This holiday occurs in the spring time and celebrates freedom of the Jews who were slaves in Egypt. We remember that our ancestors were slaves in Egypt
and retell the story of the Exodus - and how they were set free. It is observed for seven or eight days. Most Reform Jews and Jews living in Israel observe it for 7 days. Conservative & Orthodox Jews observe it for 8 days. On the first evening (and sometimes the second), Jews attend a ritual Passover dinner called a "seder" where the story of the exodus from Egypt is retold. During the entire holiday, many only eat food that is Kosher for Passover and is unleavened.
Did you know?
- "Chametz" is the name for the leavened product that results when any wheat, rye, barley, oat or spelt are mixed with water for more than 18 minutes. Matzah is made with a careful eye in under 18 minutes. Before Passover, it is customary to clean one's house thoroughly to remove all traces of "chametz."
- So what can you eat on Passover? First of all, it is a mitzvah to eat "matzah. It is an unleavened bread made of flour and water. To make sure that matzah is unleavened, the entire process of mixing matzah lasts less than 18 minutes from the time the water is mixed into the flour until the time it is baked.
- Passover is the oldest continuously celebrated Jewish festival
- Both Coke and Pepsi make Kosher for Passover versions of their sodas
- Passover's name comes from the last of the ten plagues, in whcih Jewish homes were "passed over" during the killing of the firstborn male children.
- According to the National Jewish Population Survey - 4.3 million of the 5.2 million Jews living in the U.S. attend a Passover seder.
Resources & Websites
Are you ready for Passover? Here are some great links to help you prepare for this holiday.
- Passover Seder 2017 Supplement from Rabbi Marx and Beth Or's Social Justice Committee
- A new haggadah called the 30-minute Seder (http://www.30minuteseder.com), which offers a very interfaith friendly in its brevity and clear explanations. Coloring placemats can also be ordered through their website.
- Many Passover toys and children’s books are available at www.oytoys.com/Default.asp. Some favorite toys include: Plush Passover Plagues in Pouch; Make Your Own Seder Plate; Passover Wooden Play Set. By the way, you may find some of these items in our Tarshis Gift Shop at Beth Or.
- A popular children’s Hagaddah (recommended for ages 3-8 and published by Kar-Ben) is My Very Own Haggadah: A Seder Service for Young Children by Judyth Groner and Madeline Wikler and illustrated by Sally Springer. Another favorite is Dayenu: A Passover Haggadah for Families and Children
- Click here for Jewish Freeware, which is a great free holiday resource and all transliterated prayers and songs.
- Go to www.bethor.judaicabeautiful.com for all of your Passover holiday needs. Sales benefit the Tarshis Gift Shop at Beth Or.
Check back to this page for more Passover resources. We will add more Passover links as we find them!