Passover is a major Jewish holiday, known as Pesach in Hebrew. It is an eight-day festival commemorating the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Passover 2023 begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Found in the Torah, the Passover story tells of the Israelites’ slavery, deliverance, and escape from Egypt. The Jews were forced into slavery by the Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, and God responded by releasing Ten Plagues. The Hebrew name, Pesach, means “passed over” referring to the final plague that killed Egyptian firstborns, but miraculously “passed over” the houses of the Israelites. When the Pharaoh’s son was killed during this final plague, it was then that the Pharaoh decided to let the Jews go free. Jews give thanks during Passover as it is a reminder that even when Jews are oppressed, the Bible teaches that they are the chosen people and will survive.
On the first night of Passover, Jews are commanded to have a special family meal known as the Seder, filled with rituals like reading the Haggadah, the story of Passover. Everyone gathers around the table to share in the reading and discuss its significance.
Special rituals include drinking 4 cups of wine and eating special foods like maror (bitter herbs), beitzah (hardboiled egg), charoset (mixture of apples, walnuts and honey), and karpas (leafy green vegetables).
During the entire duration of the holiday, it is forbidden to eat leavened food products such as bread or pasta. The process of cleaning the home of such food products prior to the start of the holiday is an enormous task.
If you are interested in trying a Passover Dinner, restaurants that are longtime staples of the Jewish community are presenting to-go menus that fit the needs of family seder gatherings.
Check out the list of Los Angeles restaurants HERE