In the Jewish calendar, Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is a profoundly significant and joyous festival that follows the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. In 2024, Passover falls precisely 14 days after the start of the Jewish New Year on March 26th.
Passover celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith. It commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, as described in the biblical book of Exodus. The holiday is marked by a variety of customs, rituals, and a festive meal known as the Seder.
Leading up to Passover, Jewish households engage in meticulous preparations to remove all traces of leavened bread, known as chametz, from their homes. This symbolic act represents the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt, as they had no time for their bread to rise. The search for chametz, often conducted by candlelight, is a solemn and symbolic ritual that precedes the holiday.
The central event of Passover is the Seder, a special meal held on the first and sometimes the second night of the holiday. During the Seder, a special book called the Haggadah is read, recounting the story of the Exodus and explaining the various symbolic foods on the Seder plate. Participants consume matzah (unleavened bread) and partake in rituals involving the four cups of wine, each representing a different aspect of the Exodus story.
Passover is not only a time for remembering the past but also for reflecting on the themes of freedom, redemption, and renewal. It serves as a reminder of the enduring Jewish faith, the resilience of the Jewish people, and the pursuit of justice and freedom for all.
In 2024, as Passover commences 14 days after the Jewish New Year on March 26th, Jewish communities will gather to celebrate this historic and spiritually significant holiday. Passover is a time for families to come together, for Jews worldwide to rekindle their connection to their history and traditions, and for people of all backgrounds to appreciate the universal themes of liberation and hope that this festival embodies. It’s a time for storytelling, reflection, and gratitude for the freedom that has been achieved and the ongoing pursuit of justice and righteousness.