Project Genesis

Passover - in a nutshell

What all does the Passover holiday entail? A friend of mine is Jewish and I want to be respectful of the holiday and would like to know how best to do that.

The most fundamental aspect of the holiday is that no form of leaven can be eaten or even owned by Jews. Leavening occurs when dough is able to rise. So, all foodstuffs that Jews eat during this holiday have to certified by rabbis that they are free of leaven.

Otherwise, the holiday involves additional synagogue services and, of course, the seder on the first two nights.

3 Follow-ups »

  1. As a Roman Catholic I make it my business to be more aware of Judaism for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is our parent religion. At times I even attend synagogue services at significant religious times as an interested observer. In addition, I try to understand the observance laws so as to be sensitive to Jews when scheduling secular events so as to not exclude.

    Accordingly, I would like to know if scheduling an event on any day between the period of the first and last two days of Passover would be considered insensitive to observant Jews and prevent thier participation.

    Thank you.

    Thank you for your warm, carying sensitivity. In my opinion, the answer depends on the type of event. Traditionally, the intermediate festival days are used for family time, recreation, etc. Jewish schools are on holiday. So if it is an event for parents and not children, and is held during the day, I don’t think it would be considered insensitive, but you might have a low turnout of traditional Jews. If you would provide more information about the proposed event I could give a more specific answer.

    Comment by ATR — April 15, 2006 @ 10:46 pm

  2. The event is a “Candidate’s Night” scheduled for 18th of April (Wednesday) for a large residential cooperative where shareholders will hear speeches from and ask questions of candidates for the coop’s board of directors.

    That’s the last night of Passover, not an intermediate day as I understood from your original question. Observant Jews make a festive meal that night. However, while it may be inconvenient, there is no religious preclusion to attending such a meeting, providing it can be reached by foot.

    Comment by ATR — April 17, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  3. Do you put tifilin on the first two and last two days of Passover? Do you put tifilin on the intermediate days of Passover, and if so, do you say diffrent prayers than you would normally say when putting on tifilin?

    Dear Jack,
    On the first two and last two days of Passover (and Succoth) we do not put on Tefillin. On the intermediate days there are different customs. See if you can find out your family’s custom.
    All the best,

    Comment by ATR — April 24, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

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