"The holiday itself is over 3,500 years old", said David Orbuch, board president of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. It celebrates the end of Jewish exile in Egypt and the exodus to the promised land.
I have attended Seders with Holocaust survivors who explained under the threat of death in concentration camps they recited the Passover Seder and somehow smuggled in flour to mix with water to bake Matzo in a coal stove.
President Trump was officially scheduled to host the White House Passover seder last night, according to reports provided by an official within the administration. To tell the tale, Jewish families use a Haggadah. Celebrating the Seder also brings together Jews and Christians in a way nothing else can or ever will.
One of the most popular items associated with Passover is matzo bread. Moror (Hebrew for "bitter herbs") are eaten to commemorate the bitterness of enslavement.
A familiar Jewish food, matzah, plays several important roles in the Seder meal.
It is a reminder not just of the haste with which Jews left Egypt, but the reason for that Exodus. "We don't eat anything during Passover that is leavened.to remind us of our ancestors who weren't able to eat leavened products and therefore ate matzah".
This year's focus, he said, is on social justice and human rights.
"Why is this night different from all other nights?" "It is really a holiday of questions".
"We say during the Passover, 'from generation to generation, ' " his wife said, referring to the obligation to recount the story of the Exodus from Egypt. According to Herbie Ziskend, another former staffer who helped found the White House Seder, Obama saw common themes in the Jewish story of Exodus and the USA civil rights movement, a connection they often discussed around the table. "As we step into this historical experience, we can not help but draw to mind the 65 million displaced people and refugees around the world today".
When the Jews fled in the middle of the night, they had no time to add yeast to their dough. "But you do that in a festive atmosphere".
As part of the meaningful Seder experience, guests will be invited to sing along with musical groups, enjoy a catered dinner with chicken and vegetarian options and drink wine or grape juice. Charoset is another food traditionally eaten by the seder, which is a mixture of fruits, nuts, and wine symbolizing the mortar used to make bricks as slaves.
But this year, rabbis in local synagogues said, the holy days are shadowed by struggles afflicting parts of the planet, especially among refugees and the people of Syria. "Why are we eating something that represents slavery with sweetness today? Next year may we be free men". These are crumbs from food that has been allowed to rise, like normal bread.
Chad: The Passover story is well known by people of all faiths.
Though some foods featured during the Seder meals are representative of some dark times in Jewish history, Orbuch said the holiday is at its core one of celebration and reflection.