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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Passover

Hi dear crafty friends!

Today Jews around the world celebrate Passover, which is one of the most important holidays for Jews. For those who aren't Jews Passover is that time once a year when their friends can't eat pizza. But there is actually more to this holiday than what Jews can or can't eat. This holiday is all about celebrating freedom, miracles and faith. Today I want to share 12 Things You Didn't Know About Passover!

 

 

Here is the story of Passover in a nutshell: After decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, God saw the Jews' distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth my people.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed God’s command. God then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.
At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan (The Hebrew month coinciding with April) in the year 1313 BCE, God visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, God spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes, hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise, which is the reason for eating unleavened bread: Matzoh. Six hundred thousand people, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai and to the Promised Land.
The highlight of Passover is the Seder, a fifteen-step family-oriented tradition and ritual-packed feast.

12 things you didn't know about Passover

However, even if you're familiar with the story I'm sure there are some surprising things you don't know about!

  1. The word Seder means order.
  2. The world largest Seder takes place in Nepal. About 2000 Israeli people attend it every year for the past 15 years. Lots of young Israeli backpackers who tour the fat east stop their trip, go to Nepal to help with the preparations.
  3. Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated During Passover. According to the American Jewish Historical Society, many Jews were in synagogue for the holiday when news of Lincoln’s assassination broke. Altars in temples “were quickly draped in black and, instead of Passover melodies, the congregations chanted Yom Kippur hymns. Sadly, a time that was supposed to be full of celebration became one of mourning.
  4. Coca-Cola Makes a Special Batch of Kosher Coke for Passover. While Coke is generally a kosher product, the dietary laws during the Passover holiday making corn syrup a no-no for observant Jews. In response, Coca-Cola pumps out a batch of limited edition Coke that uses real sugar. Look for bottles with yellow caps on them to be sure you’re getting the right one, baby! 
  5. Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt appears only ONCE in the Haggadah (the Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder). This was done to put the emphasis on the story of the exodus and not to idolize Moses.
  6. At the end of World War II, the National Jewish Welfare Board had a matzo factory produce matzo in the form of a giant "V" for "Victory", for shipment to military bases overseas and in the U.S., for Passover Seders for Jewish military personnel.
  7. Manischewitz (is a leading brand of kosher products based in the United States) alone sells more than 1.5 million jars of gefilte fish (traditional fish dish) nationally and internationally — that’s almost one jar for every 10 Jews in the world.
  8. In Vilna, Poland, during World War I, it was very difficult to find kosher wine. Rabbinical authorities made a special announcement to allow sweet tea to be substituted for the traditional four cups of wine during the Seder.
  9. Passover is the oldest Jewish festival.
  10. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising during WW2 took place on Passover in 1943.
  11. Each matzo has about 800 holes that prevent the dough from rising. Without the holes, it would be pita bread.
  12. In Israel there are self rising flour and cake flour that are kosher for Passover! They are made from other types of flours that don't have wheat in them. 

Even if you don't celebrate Passover, think about its meaning of being free. Free from whatever is weighing on you and may you find a way to set yourselves free!

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