Passover is undoubtedly one of the major holidays of Judaism. For a whole week, we celebrate the liberation of the Jewish people from their slavery in Egypt.
Find the dates, meanings and main rites around Passover.
When is Passover in 2022?
In order to guarantee the smooth running of your celebrations, here are the official dates of Passover 2022 in France according to the Georgian calendar:
Beginning of Passover: Evening of Friday April 15, 2022
End of Passover: Evening of Saturday April 23, 2022
Pessah Sheni (day of the Paschal offering, for those who have been prevented from doing so for a month early): Friday May 15th evening until Saturday May 16th evening
How is Passover going?It is important to know that the Passover celebrations last seven days in Israel, compared to eight days for Jews living in the Diaspora. Indeed, it makes it possible to better feel the spirit of the festival compared to the exile of the Holy Land.
The Passover week is divided into several parts:
- The first two and the last two days are full feast days, during which all work is forbidden. Feast days are "Yom Tov" days, and each feast begins at nightfall until nightfall of the following day.
- The middle four days are intermediate days when work is allowed.
What is Passover?
Feast of memory, or freedom, it is important during Passover to remember the sufferings endured by our ancestors and to celebrate the liberation of all Jews.
Back to the history of Passover and its meaning.
The Passover Story
For many years, the Jews were forced into slavery by the pharaohs of Egypt. They were forced to perform heavy labor and submit to the authority of the Pharaoh.
One day, Gd heard the plight of the Jewish people, and sent Moses to convey a message to Pharaoh. Under divine command, Moses ordered Pharaoh to set the Jewish people free.
But when Pharaoh refused to release the children of Israel, G‑d unleashed ten plagues upon the Egyptian people. These ten plagues sow disease and destruction. The last of the ten plagues, led to the death of all the firstborn.
So the defeated Pharaoh decided to free his slaves and chased them out of Egypt. That day, hundreds of thousands of Jewish families immediately set out to head for the Promised Land. But in this rush, the sourdough bread planned for their trip did not even have time to rise. This is why we refrain from eating leavened products during Passover.
It is this story that we read and pass on through the reading of the haggadah on Passover night.
Meaning of PassoverThe Hebrew name "Pesach" means "jump" or "pass over" in reference to the tenth plague of Egypt. Indeed, when he kills all the firstborn in Egypt, Gd passes over the Jewish houses, sparing the children of Israel.
Passover has a strong symbolism, it marks the passage from slavery to freedom, the passage of winter in the spring or the passage through the Red Sea.
By performing the various rites around Passover, the Jews remember these important events in history, while celebrating their faith in Hashem.
How to celebrate Passover?
Getting Rid of ChametzThe celebration of Passover begins with a great cleaning, the weeks before the start of the holiday, in order to rid our homes of chametz
Chametz refers to a grain that has risen. Indeed, it concerns all products made from one of the 5 cereals (wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelled) and obtained by fermentation. In addition, bread, cereals, pasta, cakes or alcoholic beverages are part of it. Thus, on the eve of Passover, all the chametz present in the house are burned and replaced by Matzah for the duration of the holiday.
The MatzahMatzah (also called 'unleavened bread') is a flat, oven-baked unleavened bread. It is consumed during the two evenings of the Seder, in accordance with the commandment of the Torah. Matzah is a simple food, consisting only of flour and water, which symbolizes humility and submission to Gd.
Among the many Passover traditions and customs is the Seder. Considered the major event of the Passover holiday and divided into fifteen stages. We celebrate the Seder the first two nights. It is a large family and festive meal around which various rituals revolve.
Among the main rituals during the Seder dinner, we find:
- The Kiddush Prayer
- Reading the Haggadah, a text that recounts the exodus from Egypt. It is important to tell and pass on the story to the children during dinner.
- The Seder Plate which contains symbolic foods and represents different aspects of the Passover story. We eat these foods in a specific order.
- Drink four cups of wine or grape juice to celebrate our newfound freedom
ConclusionPassover is a Jewish holiday rich in history and tradition. It is also an important commemoration for the Jewish people. We hope you have a great Passover in 2022. And don't forget to wish your loved ones a Happy Passover by saying "Pesach Sameah" or "Hag
Find out more:
Discover the Purim story
Discover the story of Hanukkah.