Beginning tonight at sundown and lasting for 8 days is the Jewish holiday called Passover. It is the first of the major Jewish festivals mentioned in the Bible and is observed and celebrated by more Jews than any other holiday in the Jewish calendar. Passover celebrates the escape of the children of Israel from the Egyptian house of bondage. We call this the Exodus.
The story is told by reading the Haggadah. The Torah tells us “You shall tell the Pesach [Passover] story to your children in the days to come.” These most ancient rituals have been passed down from generation to generation for over 3,000 years.
The special meal for the Holiday is called the seder. The word “seder” means “order.” There is a set order for all the things we do during the seder – things that remind us of the Exodus from Egypt, and it serves to remind us of the importance of continuing the battle for freedom in every generation.
Every seder starts by the leader welcoming everyone who will be participating in the rituals and ends with a hope – to be in Jerusalem next year, for Jerusalem to be at peace, and for all to be free.