A Little About the Most Widely Celebrated Jewish Holiday - Passover
Passover is celebrated in the spring during the Hebrew month of Nissan (15th – 21st) which corresponds this year to sundown on Wednesday, April 5th – sundown on Tuesday, April 11th. In Hebrew, the holiday is called Pesach which means “to pass over”. Often referred to as “The Festival of Freedom” Passover remembers and celebrates the Israelites liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. During the holiday, Jews avoid consuming foods and products that contain leaven. Time is spent preparing the house, removing chametz (items containing leavening), cleaning and preparing. A real Spring cleaning.
“This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let those who are hungry come in and partake. Let all who are in need come and celebrate the Passover." These words will be shared at tables throughout the world during the upcoming celebration. During the Seder meals (which occur on the first two nights of the holiday), the story of the Exodus is retold and a variety of traditions are observed. Family is central to Passover because traditionally around a meal at home. Originally meant as a directive to feed the poor, this has evolved into a lovely tradition of inviting people - often complete strangers, who would otherwise be alone - to our Seders.
It’s also encouraged for friends to get together and create a Seder experience that meets their needs. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy. Be creative! What is important is the gathering and retelling of the Exodus.
We’ve come up with a variety of ways to help you prepare for the holiday and we’d also love to hear from you. Send us your Passover recipes, tips, etc. But, most importantly, enjoy the holiday! We have many opportunities for learning, preparing, interacting, celebrating and more! Let's get started....
Preparing Our Homes
It can be a big job but, we've faced greater challenges and we're up for the task. And, let's be honest, it's time to your spring cleaning! This year’s Passover Kashrut Guide is available here.
To Kitniyot or Not to Kitniyot?
Several years ago, Rabbi Rosenthal (z"l) shared with us "A Rabbinical Assembly Teshuvah Permitting Ashkenazim to Eat Kitniyot" on the holiday. The information can be found here.
Selling Your Chametz
Are You Ready Yet?
We have compiled tips and resources to make the holiday special. Whether you're getting ready, creating a special Seder, seeking ways to engage children, looking for a new recipe, and more, we've got so much to share with you. Click here to get started.
Rituals, Celebrations, and Services
Bedikat Chametz – Searching for Chametz
Tuesday, April 4th
The act of searching for Chametz helps up prepare ourselves, and our homes, for the Passover Holiday. The search takes place after nightfall on the evening before Pesach (the night of the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nissan, as stated in the Mishnah tractate Pesachim). When Pesach starts on Saturday night, bedikat chametz takes place on Thursday night (two nights before Pesach).
Click here for complete details on how to conduct this ritual. This can be a fun activity for families and is certain to help create wonderful holiday memories.
Bi'ur Chametz - The removal and burning of chametz
Wednesday, April 5th
On the morning before Passover, one is supposed to get rid of the Chametz which one found last night during the search, as well as any other remaining Chametz which has been found. While chametz can be removed or destroyed in any number of ways, many people choose to burn it.
There is no blessing recited before the burning. The blessing which was made prior to the search covers the act of removing the Chametz the following morning. The burning should take place by 11:47 a.m.
Candle Lightings and Passover Services
Throughout Passover there will be many opportunities to gather for services and share the joy of the holiday.
Wednesday, April 5th
- Siyum Bechorot, a short study session in honor of the Fast of the First Born, at 8:15 a.m., immediately following Minyan
- Candle Lighting is 6:53 p.m.
Thursday, April 6th
- Passover Service 9:30 a.m.
- Second Seder at TIS, 5:45 p.m.
- Candle Lighting is 7:49 p.m.
Friday, April 7th
- Passover Service 9:30 a.m.
- Candle Lighting is 6:54 p.m.
- Shabbat Service begins at 6:15 p.m.
On Friday evenings during Chol Hamoed (intermediate days of the festival) Kabbalat Shabbat is not chanted. Shabbat services only include the Ma’ariv service.
This year Rabbi Matt and Cantor Hanan will begin the service with several songs of freedom to set the tone for our service. Come and share a moving and meaningful welcoming of Shabbat and celebration of Passover. Click here for details.
Tuesday, April 11th
- Candle Lighting is 6:57 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12th
- Passover Services at 9:30 a.m.
- Candle Lighting is 7:54 p.m.
Thursday, April 13th
- Passover services at 9:30 a.m. Yizkor memorial prayers will be recited.
- Havdalah is 7:54 p.m.
A Little Something Special from One of Our Own
Ted Stern released an audio work entitled “Song of Songs of Love for All” - a modern adaptation of Chapter 1 of Shir Hashirim, which we chant at services during the Passover season. The work includes vocals from well known and loved voices we have had join us at Tifereth Israel - Cantor Hanan Leberman and Cantorial Soloist Cheryl Katz - as well as Ted and some other local and not-so-local musical friends.
The song and its vision and origins can be found by clicking here.
But wait, there's more...
We have compiled quite a bit of information, tips, resources, recipes, etc. to help to prepare for Passover and enhance your entire holiday. Take a few minutes to peruse this page and explore all of the materials. Click here to visit the web page.