The 10 plagues of Egypt and the Passover
The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22.
It begins after nightfall on the first night of Passover (and the second night if you live outside of Israel), the anniversary of our nation’s miraculous exodus from Egyptian slavery more than 3,000 years ago.
The Seder feast is held on the first two nights of Passover (just the first night in Israel), after nightfall.
What Is A Seder?
The Seder is a marathon feast that includes reading, drinking wine, telling stories, eating special foods and singing.
What's on The Menu
During the course of the evening you will have:
Four cups of wine.
Veggies dipped in saltwater.
Flat, dry cracker-like bread called matzah
Bitter herbs, often horseradish (without additives) and romaine lettuce, dipped into charoset (a paste of nuts, apples, pears and wine).
A festive meal that may contain time-honored favorites, like chicken soup and gefilte fish.
Each item has its place in a 15-step choreographed combination of tastes, sounds, sensations and smells that have been with the Jewish people for millennia.
Ceremonial foods are all arranged on a platter, called a ka’arah or Seder plate. There may be one ka’arah for the entire Seder, or several.
The procedure is all laid out in a book called a Haggadah. Although the text is in Hebrew (with a sprinkling of Aramaic), it is perfectly acceptable to read the Haggadah in translation if you don’t understand Hebrew.
Note: The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus all holiday observances begin at sundown on the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of the holiday. (Thus, the first Passover seder is held on the evening of the first date listed.) Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.
The first two days of Passover (from sundown of the first date listed, until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holiday days. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full holiday days.