Pesach

Known in English as “Passover”, Pesach commemorates the Jewish people’s Exodus from Egypt in the 13th century BCE. The holiday is ritually observed via a special home service called a seder, and a festive meal, as well as the prohibition of chametz (leaven), and the eating instead of matzah (unleavened bread).

Pesach
Pesach

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Pesach
Pesach
Pesach

Pesach

How to…

Create your own personal joy and increase meaning in the Seder…

KADESH: Invite each person to bring an item to add to the Seder table that helps them find meaning and joy in the Seder. Take a moment before each cup of wine or grape juice for a few people to share why these items are meaningful.

MAGID: Retell the story to freedom in your own way, using your own words, props, costumes, or songs. Allow all present to take part in this retelling.

ASK (MORE) QUESTIONS: What freedoms are we celebrating this year? How can the joy we celebrate at Pesach enhance our lives and actions throughout the year?

HALLEL: Embellish the Hallel with additional songs that spark joy.

An Orange

Since the 1980s, many Jews have been including an orange on the Seder plate as a symbol of inclusion, particularly of Gay, Lesbian, trans and gender non-conforming Jews.

The splitting of the orange is to show that although we may be made of up of many different people, we are whole. The spitting out of the orange pips symbolises the repudiation of homophobia and transphobia by those at the seder.

Olives, Chocolate & Miriam’s Cup

Olives and olive branches have been a symbol of peace for generations. Olives remind us that as Jews we wish to make peace where there is war.

Chocolate is placed on the Seder plate to remind us that as we celebrate our freedom from slavery, slavery still exists around the world.

Miriam’s Cup is filled with water and placed next to Elijah’s cup to symbolise the long and fruitful contributions to Judaism by women, which have been overlooked in our tradition.

Counting

Blessed are you,
Adonai our God.
Sovereign of the world,
who sanctified us with mitzvot
and commanded us to count the Omer.

Baruch atah Adonai,

Eloheinu Melech ha’Olam

asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav

v’tizivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺתָיו

After the blessing, one recites the appropriate day of the count. For example:

Hayom yom echad la’omer

Today is the first day of the omer.

After the first six days, one also includes the number of weeks that one has counted. For example:

Hayom sh’losha asar yom, she’hem shavuah echad v’shisha yamim la’omer

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