With the Jewish holiday of Passover quickly approaching, (beginning this year on March 30), people all over the world are already getting ready for the week-long holiday. Although every holiday requires a certain amount of preparation, there is much to do even before Passover starts in order to celebrate the festival as God commanded in the bible.
Here’s what you need to know about pre-Passover preparations:
Before the holiday begins, homes must be purged of all חָמֵץ-chametz. Chametz is any food product made from wheat, oats, spelt, rye or barley that is mixed with water and baked after 18 minutes, causing it to be leavened. Although many people already use this time of year for spring cleaning, the actual Biblical requirement is to ensure that no chametz be found in your home once Passover begins.“
No leaven shall be found in your houses for seven days. (Exodus 12:19)”
So important is ensuring that there be no chametz in the home that on the night before Passover, we must perform בְּדִיקַת חָמֵץ-bedikat chametz-checking for leaven, which a thorough search of every nook and cranny of the home to guarantee that no chametz will remain.
The morning after bedikat chametz, any leaven that was found is burned. Called ביעור חמץ-bee-or chametz-burning leaven in Israel, this is often done in a communal bonfire.
Dishes that are used throughout the year cannot be used on Passover because they were used for chametz. People typically have an entire set of dishware just for Passover however, this can be costly. Therefore, a procedure called הגלית קלים-hagalat kelim-immersing of vessels may be performed in order to make vessels kosher for passover. The process involves putting very clean vessels into vats of boiling water.
Every first-born male over the age of 13 is obligated to fast the day before the first evening of Passover. This fast, called תענית בכורים-taaneet b’korim-fast of the first born, commemorates the miracle of the first-born Jewish males being saved during the Plague of the Firstborns in ancient Egypt. This was only one of the many miracles, which took place before the Israelites were freed from Egyptian slavery.
“Throughout the ages, Passover has continuously been observed by the Jewish people, even those who say that they are not religious,” Roni Segal, academic adviser for The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, said to Breaking Israel News.
“Though observing the holiday takes a lot of preparation, it is also a special time for families to gather and celebrate God’s establishing of the Jewish people as a nation and bringing us out of Egypt and into the Holy Land.”
To learn more about Biblical Hebrew, please click here.
Written in cooperation with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.
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Source: Israel in the News