Invited to a seder? Don’t fret.
Brush up on Passover 101 and be the guest with grace. With a little know-how,
you’ll never want to ‘passover’ this holiday again!
According to Jewfaq.org,
of all the Jewish holidays, Pesach (Passover) is the one most commonly
observed, even by otherwise non-observant Jews. In the 1990 National
Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), more than 80 percent of Jews have attended
a Pesach Seder.
Pesach begins on the fifteenth day of the Jewish month of Nissan. It
is the first of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural
significance (the other two are Shavu'ot and Sukkot). Agriculturally,
it represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel, but little
attention is paid to this aspect of the holiday.
The primary observances of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt
after generations of slavery. This year it commences April 6.
The name "Pesach" (PAY-sahch, with a "ch" as in
the Scottish "loch") comes from the Hebrew root peh-samech-chet,
meaning to pass through, to pass over, to exempt, or to spare. In English,
the holiday is known as Passover.