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The Passover Celebration and Jag Hamatzot

Shemot 12: 11-20, Shemot 23: 14-18; Shemot 23:26; Shemot 23: 43-49 y Vayikra 23:5-8

In this month of Abib (Nisan) begin the celebrations of the Feasts of the Eternal of Ysrael established in Vayikra (Levitic) 23 beginning with one of the most important Feasts such as the Passover holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery with their departure from Egypt. It is based on the verse of Vayikra/ Levitics 23:5-8: ́ ́In the 1st month at sunset of the 14th of Abib, Passover is from Yahweh ́ ́ and 6: ́ ́ and the 15th day of that same month is the solemnity of the Jag Hamatzot (feast of unleavened breads) for Yahweh 7 days you will eat unleavened breads and 7: ́ ́ the 1st day is holy convocation no servant work you will do and in Shemot/Exodus 12: 14-20 states that one should not eat or possess “Jamez” (yeast) and that one should remove the yeast from all your chambers, and from their rooms.

And in Shemot/Exodus: 23:14-18 it sets forth the three (3) pilgrimages to be made each year and that every man should not show up with empty hands: Pesach/Jag Hamatzot, Shavout and Sukkot. And finally in Shemot/Exodus: 23:26: Which sets forth the question we must answer our children about the meaning of the Passover sacrifice. Shemot/Exodus: 23:43-49 sets forth the precepts to be followed for this celebration regarding the people called to celebrate Passover.

The celebration of Passover and Unleavened Bread (Jag Hamatzot)

It begin the first month of the Abib year, extends for 7 days where you must consume the breads and foods that contain leavening us. This year 2021 Passover is saturday 27/03/2021 at sunset at 7:10pm local time in Venezuela and Sunday 28 March at sunset 7:10pm Venezuela time until 04/04/2021 7:10pm). The First Passover day and the 1st day Jag Hamatzot are Sabbath days, no servant work you will do, holy convocation.

With the only exception that on Passover and Jag Hamatzot you can cook only what you are going to eat for that day

And Passover Sheni is the 2nd opportunity to celebrate Passover (Monday, April 26, 2021) only for the following reasons: being traveling for reasons of force majeure or for the death of an immediate family member. (Contact with deceased).

During the seven (7) days of the Festival you can not eat or possess foods that contain “Jametz” leavening: wheat, oats, rye and spelt and all derivatives of these products: you can not such as: cakes, cookies, bread, pizza, pita bread, Arabic bread, pasta, canned products, sausages, soy, canned industrial products, sausages, etc.

Among the foods you can eat are: fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, butter, vegetable soups, salads, natural ice cream that they do not contain.

On the contrary, we have the MATZA, the unleavened or unleavened bread, which the Israelites ate in a hurry (with no time for it to leave) before leaving Egypt. This time we will make the handmade matza. (See on this page the details of the ingredients and the way of preparation so that you can have your “yeast-free breads” for the Party).

On that occasion, as the Exodus relates, they ate the Matzah along with the Paschal sacrifice (the offering animal whose blood was used to mark the doors of the Israelite houses before the last plague) and the bitter herbs.

CLEANING THE HOME BEFORE

THE PASSOVER DINNER.

The day before the Passover Holiday we must clean the house of the whole Jametz. Especially we must be careful in the cleaning of the kitchen, the dining room and the rooms, making sure that there are no vestiges of Jametz (yeast). And we must not forget about our workplace, study, car, etc.

The Jametz (leaven) during Passover, it is not only forbidden to eat it, but also to possess it. Jametz means: Products containing any kind of leavenings (wheat, barley, rye, semolina, quaker, soy, etc.),

In short, bread, cakes, cookies, noodles, beer, whiskey, soy, canned goods, sausages, soft drinks, sachet drinks, chocolate drinks and other alcoholic beverages, baby food, preserves, etc., are Jametz products and cannot be had or used on Passover.

Utensils and implements for kitchens. Utensils and kitchen implements used throughout the year contain Jametz and should not be used on Passover. It is convenient to have a set of utensils especially for use on Passover. If this is not possible, the utensils for daily use should be “casherized” (washed all with hot water and soap if possible).

Passover is one of the most important holidays in the Hebrew calendar and the activity takes place with a Remembrance Supper called: “Passover Dinner” which has a Seder (Order) the ceremonial supper that comes to fulfill the mandate to tell our children about the exodus, as the Torah says: “And you will tell your son on that day saying this is what Elohim did with me when I got out of Egypt” ( Ex. 13:8). (The Seder of this celebration can be found on this page.) The ritual of the dinner aims not only to evoke the historical event but also to try to revive it, to go through that same experience again.

At dinner a plate called “Passover Keara” is used in the center of the table. In addition to the bitter herbs (lettuce or parsley) reminiscent of slavery, a chicken or lamb leg recalls the Paschal sacrifice. A hard-boiled egg represents the strength of the Hebrew people, a green vegetable that reminds us that Passover is also the festival of spring, and a paste with wine, cinnamon, raisins, and apple called Jaroset, which resembles the mortar used by Israelite slaves to build the pyramids. A glass of water and salt is also incorporated to remember the tears shed by our ancestors.

At the end of the Seder is proclaimed LShanah Habah-ah Bee-Yerushalayim! Next year in Jerusalem referring to the hope that the arrival of the messianic epoch will become a reality where according to our tradition we will all be taken to the land of Israel and a time of peace and justice will be established for all humanity.

In that sense, Pesach is not only an evocation of the divine redemption that occurred more than 3000 years ago, but also celebrates our commitment to work to bring us closer to that utopia of harmony and fraternity among all that Adonai has chosen (Many will be called few the chosen).

JAG SAMEAJ PESACH

Rabanih Batya Bat Rondon-Marques / March 2021