From April 5 to 13, Jews celebrate Pesaj, date that usually coincides with the one in which Catholics commemorate Holy Week. On these dates, families of Jewish tradition remember the escape from slavery of the Hebrew people in Egypt 335 years agoso the value of freedom is highlighted on these dates. Matzah, unleavened bread, is the largest symbol of the holidaysince it is the food that the Jews ate when leaving Egypt quickly.
Passover is celebrated over eight days that include two festive dinners: one on Wednesday and one on Thursday night. “The celebration implies an awareness of memory with the responsibility of having been released as the people of Egypt and not allow anyone to live in a state of slavery,” Rabbi Silvina Chemen told telam.
“Pesaj is the celebration of the liberation of an oppressive system, Egypt, on the Hebrew people, is held at a table that retells the story in the present tense, as if we were living it ourselves,” Chemen explained.
During dinner, the book Hagadá is read, where the rituals and moments where questions are asked and answered are stipulated, in which the children are invited to participate. This custom has to do with the conservation of memory and tradition, so that it passes from generation to generation.
On these days, it is not allowed to eat foods derived from cereals, such as fermented oats, barley, rye, spelt and wheat, instead, matzah is consumed, which is unleavened bread.
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This custom is inscribed in the Bible, in chapters 15 to 20 of the Book of Exodus: “Seven days you will eat unleavened bread; and so on the first day you shall make sure that there is no leaven in your housesbecause whoever eats something leavened from the first day to the seventh, that soul will be cut off from the people of Israel,” the book details.
Mandatory foods during Passover
In Pesaj, in addition to matzah, there are foods that cannot be missing from the celebration. The Seder plate eaten on Pesach must contain ssix elements that have a special meaning that evokes history and feelings about the exodus from Egypt.
The six traditional ingredients that make up the Seder plate are:
- Maror: they are bitter herbs that symbolize the idol for slavery. These herbs must be presented fresh and without seasoning.
- Chazeret: It is the root of a horseradish, a plant whose root has a slightly bitter taste. This not entirely pleasant flavor is to remember the past and understand that today is better than in those days.
- Haroset: it is a sweet paste made of fruits and nuts, reminiscent of mud.
- Karpas – This is usually a potato, an onion, a celery submerged in salt water. This is reminiscent of the growth emerged from tears and pain.
- Z’roa: is a roast lamb or chicken leg that recalls the Passover sacrifice, in which a lamb is offered as a sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem.
- Beitzah: a hard-boiled egg that symbolizes the Korban Haguigah (festival of sacrifice), and that was offered in the Temple of Jerusalem.
preparation of matzah
The matzah consists of a very simple preparation that requires 500 grams of flour, 220 cubic centimeters of water, 2 tablespoons of common oil and salt to taste. The flour and salt are placed in a bowl with a hole in the middle where the water and oil are added. The ingredients are mixed until they form a dough and a smooth and soft bun is formed.
Then it is divided into smaller balls that are kneaded to give the characteristic shape of the matzah, the surface is pricked with a fork and it is baked at a medium-high temperature for a few minutes until golden brown.
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