20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Understanding the significance of Pesach E-mail

The holiday of Pesach / Passover begins on 15 Nissan and marks the anniversary of the birth of the Jewish nation.

Apart from its historical significance it also has agricultural importance and represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. The festival lasts for seven days (eight days outside of Israel).

The first and last days of the holiday (first two and last two outside of Israel) are days on which no work is allowed. The intermediate days on which work is permitted are referred to as Chol Ha-Mo’ed.

The primary observances of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. The name Pesach literally means to pass through, to pass over. It refers to the fact that G-d “passed over” the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt.

The holiday is also known as Chag Ha Aviv (the Spring Festival), Chag Ha-Matzot, (the Festival of Matzahs), and Z’man Cheiruteinu, (the Time of Our Freedom.

The most significant observance related to the festival involves the removal of chametz from our homes. This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after coming into contact with water.

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