PESACH IN PRACTICE
GETTING READY FOR THE HOLIDAY
The holiday has many commandments and laws written in the Torah. "14Let this be a day of remembrance for you, and celebrate it to the Lord, generation after generation. It is an everlasting ordinance that you should celebrate."
"15For seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes, but on the preceding day you shall clear away all leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leaven from the first day until the seventh day that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16And on the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; no work may be performed on them, but what is eaten by any soul that alone may be performed for you. 17And you shall watch over the unleavened cakes, for on this very day I have taken your legions out of the land of Egypt, and you shall observe this day throughout your generations, [as] an everlasting statute. 18In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you shall eat unleavened cakes, until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 19For seven days, leavening shall not be found in your houses, for whoever eats leavening that soul shall be cut off from the community of Israel, both among the strangers and the native-born of the land. 20You shall not eat any leavening; throughout all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened cakes."
SALE OF THE CHAMETZ
FASTING OF THE FIRSTBORN
The Pesach Seder was created by the rabbis to commemorate the liberation from slavery, the transition to freedom and God's role in it. The rabbis who created the seder were great educators and psychologists. They knew very well that for Jews not only to remember this historical event, but to make it their own and truly feel it as their own, it was not enough to tell the story, but they had to live it in a certain way. Thus says the Pesach Haggadah: "A person in every generation must regard himself as if he himself had personally come out of Egypt." And how did they achieve this? Expanding the Seder into a whole, multi-sensory event, filling it with images, sounds, tastes and smells.
Food plays a vital role in every Jewish celebration. Of course, the greatest manifestation of this is Pesach, with its distinct prohibitions and commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt. The most crucial rule in this regard is that all types of grain (wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats), or any derivatives or flour thereof, are not fully cooked within 18 minutes of first contact with water, are forbidden. This reminds us that when the Jews left Egypt, they had no time to bake leavened bread.
The most famous and universal of all is, of course the matzah (unleavened bread - מצה), made from flour and water, under specific rules and strict supervision, and baked within 18 minutes of the start of the dough's preparation.
In addition to the matzah, the Seder table also contains several other symbolically significant dishes that have become an integral part of the Pesach Seder (the first two evenings of the holiday outside Israel). For example, maror (bitter grass, horseradish - מרור), which symbolises the bitterness of life in Egypt, charoset (hrajszesz, "mortar" - חרוסת), which represents the Jews being forced to build in Egypt, and saltwater, which refers to the tears shed by Jewish enslaved people.