The Passover Feast
The Passover feast or ‘Pesach’ is a Jewish festival that commemorates the deliverance of Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
It is celebrated annually from the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan which corresponds with a period around March or April in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival lasts 7 or 8 days for orthodox Jews and Israeli Jews respectively.
History of the Passover feast
According to the book of Exodus, the Israelites were held in captivity in Egypt for about 420 years. Moses was sent by God to the Pharaoh to ask him to free them, a request that he blatantly turned down.
God then sent ten dreadful plagues to the land of Egypt, the last of which was the death of all the Egyptian firstborn sons.
On the night of the Passover, the Israelites were instructed to mark their doors with lamb’s blood, so that the angel of death would not slay their firstborns. Owing to the grief brought about by this final plague, the Pharaoh agreed to set the Israelites free.
On this night, the Israelites embarked on their journey across the wilderness and the Red Sea to the promised land of Canaan. The Lord then commanded them to always observe the Passover feast, even after setting foot in the promised land.
Passover celebration today
Up to this day, Jews all over the world observe this important holiday. Before the commencement of the feast, families must ensure that there is no trace of ‘Chametz’ or leavening in their home, as this is forbidden during Passover.
The first born males of every household then fast to commemorate the day on which they were spared from the plague of the first-born sons. In the biblical period, Jewish families were expected to offer a lamb as a sacrifice.
This is known as the Passover offering or ‘Korban Pesach’. They were then expected to eat the entire lamb in one sitting or share with other families. On the night that precedes the start of Passover, Jews today hold a special service called ‘Seder’ while having a meal with family and friends.
The meal often includes goat or lamb which symbolizes this Passover offering. The Haggadah, a book outlining the events of the exodus is then read to the members of the family.
Learn More About Passover
Passover is a crucial Jewish event that commemorates the freeing of historic Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Throughout Passover festivities, foodstuff which is to be consumed is intended to be totally free of chametz (leavening).
Because of these specifications, Jews aren’t meant to eat just any kind of food during this special celebration. Resorts and dining establishments that provide Jewish foodstuff during the Passover have to go through several rigid cleaning that is designed to eliminate almost all traces of chametz to avoid toxic contamination of Passover food with leaven.
Below are good examples of food which you can cook during this special party.
MatzahBrei. Matzahbrei is a dish which is made out of matzo coated in fried egg. This Passover cuisine is made by simply soaking dried matzo in hot water or milk. As soon as the matzo has melted, it can then be broken directly into little bits that are dipped into beaten eggs. The mixture is then fried in a pan smeared along with butter or even oil. The food can be offered fairly sweet or perhaps tasty based on preference. Matzahbrei is commonly taken as a morning meal throughout Passover.
MatzahBalls In Chicken Soup. Matzah balls are basically dumplings that are made from matzah meal. This Passover food is created by mixing eggs, matzah meal, oil, and water. The dumplings are considered to be a staple food during the Passover. Chicken fat can be utilized to incorporate a unique flavor to the dumplings even though vegetable oil and margarine could also provide excellent results. The dumplings could be prepared by boiling them in chicken soup for approximately 20 minutes. Matzah balls could be created light or dense depending on the recipe used by the cook.
Gefilte Fish. Gefilte fish is a dish made from deboned pike or carp which is boiled and is eaten as an appetizer. This fish is popular as Passover food even though it could be delivered all through the year. Conventional Jews constantly used pike and carp for this dish yet lately other types of fish with white colored flesh are being used as well as pink salmon. When the fish is chosen, it can be prepared to make use of brown onion, pepper, salt, eggs and vegetable oil. The bones of the fish are then eliminated after which the flesh is combined with the other ingredients. Items just like bread crumbs or matza can also be incorporated. Based on conventional recipes this particular food is supposed to take up to 3 hours cooking.
Charoset. Charoset is a dish created from fresh fruits and peanuts. Charoset is Passover foodCharocet is Passover that is designed to remind Israelites of the mud they used to use in Egypt to make bricks. Charoset could be taken plain or perhaps can be used as the spread on a matzah sandwich. Today there are many quality recipes for charoset where chopped walnuts and apples seasoned with wine can be used as an option to conventional ingredients. There’s also some other selection which is known as Sephardi charoset that is made from dates, figs, and raisins.
Passover Foods – What You Need at the Seder Meal
The main Passover activity is the seder which takes place on the first two evenings of the holiday (only one if you live in Israel). At the seder a special seder plate is used to display the needed foods. They are all symbols or reminders of the story of the redemption of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The story is told in the Passover haggada.
The seder meal has some indispensable components. The most visible is the matza, the unleavened bread. It symbolizes slavery but also represents self-control. Self-mastery is what Jews need to become faithful servants of their Creator who saved them from Egypt for just that purpose. Round, square, hand or machine made, matza is kosher as long as it’s under kosher supervision.
Wine or grape juice – four cups for each participant – is also needed. Wine and matza are the two items that need the most care to be kosher.
The next item is mayor – a bitter herb. Horseradish root is the sinus-clearing champion when it comes to bitterness. You can also use romaine lettuce. The bitter herb is used at two separate points in the seder and reminds the participants of the bitterness of slavery.
Also on the seder plate are a bone with meat on it symbolic of the Passover lamb sacrificed until the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. A hardboiled egg symbolizes the actual destruction of the Temple.
Charoset – a sweet concoction of wine, apples and nuts – is a reminder of the mortar used by the Jewish slaves. You’ll need a recipe.
A plain vegetable – like radish or celery are common – and salt water for dipping are also part of the proceedings.
Passover foods for the seder meal must be prepared on a weekday prior to the seder night. We don’t prepare on Saturday – it is Shabbos, the Sabbath. Use that day to relax and enjoy your company.
Find a favorite haggada – it can reallly be helpful. For that brisket , tzimmes or dessert recipe – well, yes a Passover cookbook.
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