Midlo passes over the Jewish holiday, Passover

Passover 2021

Photo by: Quinn Downing
A traditional Passover meal has a seder plate, Matzo and grape juice to go along with the Haggadah.

As many Christians celebrate Easter in the springtime, Jews celebrate Passover, the festival of freedom. Passover is an eight-day festival, celebrated to remember the liberation of the enslaved Israelites in Egypt over 3000 years ago. Many families spend Passover together by having a celebratory dinner. “Passover is a really meaningful time of year. This is the holiday I usually get together with my extended family to celebrate,” Senior Taylor Bennett said. This year, Passover begins at sunset on Saturday, March 27, 2021 and lasts until sundown on Sunday, April 4.

A Passover custom is that Jews withhold from eating leaven for eight days because the Israelites did not eat leavened bread when they were escaping Egypt. Many Jews replace bread with eating matzah for these eight days. Temples and families kick off Passover by having a seder the night that Passover starts. The seder is usually eaten at home and includes symbolic foods on a seder plate such as bitter herbs, to remember the suffering of slavery; an egg, to welcome the spring season; leafy vegetables, to show the rebirth; and matzah, to remember the unleavened bread the slaves ate. This meal includes reading from the Haggadah, which retells the story of Exodus.  

Like most things in the past year, the Passover experience has also changed from the norm. “I am rather disappointed we won’t be able to gather [in-person] this year due to the pandemic. This year my family was going to try video calling so we don’t all have to spend the holiday alone,” Bennett said.  Passover allows for Jews to celebrate and have an excuse to get together with family virtually and spend this monumental Jewish holiday together.

Learn more about other Jewish traditions like Hanukkah, or check out Britannica’s Passover: story, meaning, and tradition.

Jewish terminology

Passover: May be referred to as Pesach in Hebrew

Leaven: Any food with a grain that was fermented in water 

Temple: A place that Jews congregate for religious worship

Seder: A special dinner that retells the story of the Israelites in ancient Egypt.

Haggadah: The book that is used during the first two nights of Passover 

Exodus: A book in the Torah, refers to the Israelites fleeing Egypt