• Holidays

The Best Things About Passover

Passover, Pesach, whatever you want to call it. This is that week when Jewish people eat matzah instead of bread. Is Passover the best Jewish holiday, or just the one most celebrated around the world? For the uninitiated, Pesach ("PAY-saacchh") is a week-long holiday that commemorates the Jews' Exodus from Egypt. That is the story with Moses, the Pharaoh, the Ten Plagues, and etc. The holiday kicks off with the seder, a Very Important Dinner that 70% of American Jews attend each year. During this several-hours-long, highly-ritualized meal, participants take turns reading from a book called the Haggadah. Page by page, maybe in Hebrew and then in English, they recount the time the Angel of Death ~passed over~ the homes of the Jews, saving their first-born sons whilst killing only those future-landholding heirs of the Egyptians. Mmm! There is a fancy "seder plate," special just-for-Passover foods and customs (e.g. reclining at the table, dipping parsley into salt water, drinking f-o-u-r cups of wine), and plenty of songs to keep your family too busy to discuss politics. It is like being at a table-reading for a fun little play about slavery and emancipation, only with frequent cues for food and drink. Some people love having a seder so much that they have a second seder the very next night. And that is only the beginning of the Passover fun! What comes next is a whole week of making a big deal out of not eating bread, as though you are every person who has tried an Atkins / keto / Paleo diet.

Come on, Jewish people! Think about your favorite things about Passover. Maybe it is gefilte fish, or maybe it is listening to a niece or nephew try his or hand at the Four Questions. Maybe you are very competitive about how much beet-red horseradish you can eat without sweating out of your forehead. Heck, maybe you are just an Average Jehosaphat who loves matzah ball soup. Does your family do the whole ordeal with cleaning the house for chametz and symbolically selling all the crumbs in your house to your neighbor, Jerry, for the reasonable price of like $1? Do your parents pour boiling water over all the countertops and make you use weird old plastic plates and silverware all week? Even though your household doesn't keep Kosher the rest of the year? Are you the person who proudly says, "I love matzah!" and treats it as though it is a Carr's water cracker or unsalted Saltineand not the BREAD OF AFFLICTIONtrying very hard to conscientiously incorporate it into every meal? Have you ever survived a whole week on matzah pizza? Spread the word: The secret ingredient is garlic powder.

Did you know that Jesus' Last Supper was a Passover seder? What do you think he loved more: delicious charoset (apples, walnuts, and cinnamon, oh my!) or the song where you sing "Frogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere"? The little candy fruit slice things?? Macaroons made with matzah meal??? What are your favorite Jewish foods and activities that are Kosher for Passover? What is the best thing about Pesach? ("The end!" am I right y'all!!) As it is said!!!

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    The Festive Meal

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    Finding the Afikomen

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    Third Cup of Wine

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    Second Cup of Wine

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    Waiting for Elijah

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    Reciting the Ten Plagues

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    Ma Nishtana / Four Questions

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    Hiding the Afikomen

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    Chad Gadya / One Only Kid

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    Dipping Not Once, But Twice

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    All the Traditions

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    The Frog Song

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    Who Knows One?

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    Fourth Cup of Wine

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    Matzah Pizza

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    First Cup of Wine

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    Matzah Brei

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    Charoset

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    Candy Fruit Slices

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    Second Seder

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    Maror / Bitter Herb

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    Seder Plate

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