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Passover Cheat Sheet

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Going to your first Seder? Here's all you need to know.

passover cheat sheet

Momlogic's Julie: Passover is a Jewish festival that lasts eight days, celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. I always look forward to seeing the Seder plate in the middle of the table, eating the matzah, and drinking the kosher wine.

The meal is long, and consists of 15 rituals -- like lighting candles, washing hands, blessing wine, dipping vegetables, breaking the matzah and telling the story of the exodus from Egypt. There is also lots of singing.

The food is incredible: chicken matzah ball soup, potato kugel, tzimmes, egg casserole, and macaroons. I have never quite developed a taste for gefilte fish, but my son loves it. (Brisket is also a staple -- but, alas, we don't eat red meat.)

When we lived back East, we spent the holidays with my husband's family. Everyone dressed up on Passover, while my father-in-law read the Haggadah in Hebrew.

Now that we live in California, our Passover dinners are a party of four ... me, my husband, and our two kids. My son (who's 8) gets to ask "The Four Questions."

These are:

* Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzah, but on this night we eat only matzah? (Answer: It's to remember our ancestors, who fled Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise before the journey.)

* Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs? (Answer: It's a reminder for the bitterness of slavery.)

* Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice? (Answer: It's a symbol for the tears shed by slaves.)

* Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position? (Answer: It's to symbolize the comforts of freedom.)

As he asks each question, I'm always so proud of my little man.

Then we hide the afikoman. That's a piece of matzah which is hidden in the early stages of the Passover Seder. Whichever child finds it gets a gift of money or candy before the Seder continues.

In honor of Passover, we cannot eat leavened bread for seven days. My kids are two of the only Jewish kids in school, so the kids always get a kick out of seeing their PB&J served on matzah. (YUM.)

Yes, tonight will be a night to remember. I can't wait!

How will YOU celebrate Passover? Connect with other Jewish moms here!


next: If I Had to Do it Again, I Wouldn't Have Kids
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