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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Celebrating Passover

How Is Passover Celebrated?


To commemorate the unleavened bread that the Jews ate when they left Egypt, we don’t eat, or possess any chametz from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday. Chametz is food or drink that contains even a trace of leavened grain, including bread, cake, pasta, and most alcoholic beverages. Almost any processed food or drink can be assumed to be chametz unless certified otherwise.


Ridding our homes of chametz is an intensive process. It involves a full-out cleaning before Passover. There is a ceremonial search for chametz on the night before Passover and a burning of the chametz ceremony on the morning before the holiday. Chametz that cannot be disposed of can be sold to a non-Jew (and bought back after the holiday). 


Visit Mechira.com to sell your Chametz online.


Matzah

Instead of chametz, we eat matzah. Partaking of matzah on the two Seder nights is a mitzvah, but it is optional during the rest of the holiday. It is best to use round handmade shmurah matzah, which has been guarded against moisture from the moment of the harvest.


The Seders

The highlight of Passover is the Seder, observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. The Seder is a fifteen-step family-oriented tradition and ritual-packed feast.

The focal points of the Seder are:

  • Eating matzah

  • Eating bitter herbs to commemorate the bitter slavery endured by the Israelites.

  • Drinking four cups of wine or grape juice, a royal drink to celebrate our newfound freedom.

  • The recitation of the Haggadah, a liturgy that describes the story of the Exodus from Egypt, ensures one fulfills the biblical obligation to recount the story to our children. It begins with a child asking the traditional “Four Questions.”


Passover is a time to reach above nature to the miraculous. But how are miracles achieved? Let’s take our cue from the matzah, the symbol of humility. By ridding ourselves of inflated egos, we can tap into the miraculous well of divine energy we all have within our souls.


Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!


Light the Shabbat candles at 7:22 PM (NYC). For holiday times, please visit chabad.org/candles.


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