Preparing for Passover

Passover, Pesach in Hebrew, is the Jewish holiday that reminds us of the exodus from Egypt by Jewish slaves led by the Prophet  Moses.

The photos below tell the story of how my family prepares for this eight day holiday.

There are many rules regarding what is necessary to make a kosher home for Passover.

Many of these rules have to do with removing  food containing leaven (grains that rise).  In fact, the only wheat products that are allowed are those from wheat that has been kept from moisture and quickly baked into matzah.

The process begins by removing all the products containing leaven from our shelves. Products with leaven are called “chameitz” in Hebrew.

Product labels are examined by my wife, Liz, to see if there are any forbidden grains in them, i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt.

Chameitz is placed in bags to be removed.

My great-nephew, Alec, prepares to carry chameitz and dishes into the basementDishes that have been used throughout the year for chameitz must also be removed.  


The food, dishes, and other items like our toaster, are moved onto or under the pingpong table in the basement.

After the leaven is removed the whole house is thoroughly cleaned and free of chameitz. 

Special care is taken in cleaning the kitchen cabinets,

the refrigerator,

and the oven.

The silverware is boiled to make sure it is clean.

We are not allowed to own or make use of any chameitz.  What do we do?  After it is gathered up we sign this contract to sell all the chameitz that we have removed plus any we may have missed. This sale lasts the eight days of Passover. We are now ready to prepare for the Seder. 

Liz sets the table for the Seder.  The Seder is the festive meal on the first night of Passover. 

At the Seder the guests read the story of the Exodus as written in the Haggadah.

As the story is told, issues are raised and discussed by the those at the table.

During the meal, a special piece of matzah, called the Afikoman is broken and part is hidden somewhere in the house.  After the meal the children (and young adults also) search for it. The one who finds it receives a present.

The tradition says that the prophet, Elijah, Eliyahu in Hebrew, visits every home holding a seder. Someone, usually a child, is asked to open the door for him.

The Seder is over.  It ends with the traditional saying, “Next year in Jerusalem.” My great-nephew and a friend linger after an meaningful and enjoyable experience.

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