Passover is a celebration of freedom, unity and tradition. It is the retelling and reliving of the Exodus from Egypt. There is a lot of effort that goes into celebrating Passover. However, what you and your family gain spiritually is worth all the preparations.
Before Passover begins the whole house needs to be cleaned. This is to comply with the commandment “…you shall remove leaven out of your houses…” found in Exodus 12:15. The whole house is cleaned to make sure there are not even any crumbs of leavened bread in the house. Many families also change their dishes and flatware to sets that are kept only for Passover.
As the house is cleaned for Passover, any actual leavened products must be removed from the house. Strictly Orthodox families sell the product to non-Jews usually through a Rabbi or burn it. However, many modern families would rather give unopened food to a food bank to help the needy.
Setting the Seder Table
Setting the table for the traditional Passover meal, the Seder, also takes a lot of planning. Not only does the food have to be prepared, but all the traditional Passover items need to be cleaned or purchased for the Seder. The Passover items most needed are the several copies of the Hagaddah, the Seder Plate, the Matzah Plate, Kiddush Cup, Affikoman and Matzah Cover, two candlesticks with candles and kosher wine. The Seder table should be set with all these Passover items as well and with fine dishes, tablecloths and flatware.
The Seder takes place the first night of Passover. It opens with the lighting of the holiday candles and a blessing. From there we read from the Hagaddah and follow the story of the great deliverance from Egypt. Throughout the Seder the Hagaddah will tell us when to eat certain Passover foods and how to use the Passover items such as the Seder Plate and Kiddush Cup.
Once the story is told and all the blessings have been said, it is time to eat the feast. Anything can be served with the exception of leavened products. The Seder closes with the wish of, “Next year in Jerusalem.” This phrase means that we home in the coming year we will complete our spiritual redemption represented by the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Here is a HowCast video with the steps for creating a Passover Seder: