A Little About the Most Widely Celebrated Jewish Holiday – Passover
Passover is celebrated in the spring during the Hebrew month of Nissan (15th – 22nd) which corresponds this year to sundown on Friday, April 15th – sundown on Saturday, April 23rd. 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 (even on Zoom!) 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….
What Can We, and Can’t We, Eat? (Kosher for Passover) and Selling Chametz
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. More information may be found in an additional resource from the Rabbinical Assembly.
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
Click here to sell your chametz.
Preparations and Programs
I Never Knew That! What You May Not Know About the Passover Seder
Sunday, April 3rd, 7:00 p.m.
Tried and true can often become tired and true. Lili Feingold will share interesting and unusual, not-so-well-known customs. Once you spend a bit of time with Lili, you’ll be more prepared to share some new knowledge during any Seder that you’re hosting or attending as a guest. Click here for all of the information.
Discussing Freedom & Oppression at the Passover Seder and Beyond
A Two-part series
Mondays, April 4th and 18th, 7:00 p.m.
Comedians often joke about it, but polarized discussions at holiday family dinners really can be stressful. Passover Seders are not exempt. Join us for a two-part series designed to build skills that can support fruitful dialogue with others at our Seder tables and in the rest of our lives. The Passover theme of transition from oppression to freedom is a great topic for training on these skills. It is also a theme that should pervade our broader community in contemporary time every day of the year. Click here for all of the details.
Torah on Tap
Wednesday, April 6th, 7:00 p.m.
BeDikat Chametz / Searching for the Chametz: What is it that we are really searching for?
Together, at Little Miss Brewing in La Mesa, we will examine this age-old tradition and explore how it can inspire and guide us towards a more meaningful and fulfilling Passover celebration. All of the details are here.
Rituals, Celebrations, and Services
Bedikat Chametz – Searching for Chametz
Thursday, April 14th
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 Nisan, as stated in the Mishnah tractate Pesachim). When Pesach starts on Saturday night, bedikat chametz takes place on Thursday night (two nights before Pesach).
Bi’ur Chametz – The removal and burning of chametz
Friday, April 15th
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 11:52 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.
Friday, April 15th
- Siyum Bechorot, a short study session in honor of the Fast of the First Born, at 8:15 a.m., immediately following Minyan
- No Kabbalat Shabbat Service will take place at TIS – Enjoy the First Seder
- Candle Lighting is 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16th
- Shabbat and Passover Services begin at 9:00 a.m.
- Candle Lighting is 8:31 p.m.
- Enjoy the Second Seder
Sunday, April 17th
- Passover Services at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 21st
- Candle Lighting is 7:04 p.m.
Friday, April 22nd
- Passover Services at 7:30 a.m.
- Candle Lighting 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 23rd
- Shabbat and Passover Services at 9:00 a.m. (Yizkor memorial prayers are recited.)
A Little Something Special from One of Our Own
Ted Stern is releasing 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.
Passover Tips and Resources
With input from our members, friends, and partnering organizations we’ve compilied a vareity tips and resources to enhance your Passover experience. Whether you’re preparing your kitchen, seeking ideas for your Passover Seder, looking for ideas for the children, and so much more, visit this page.