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Passover One of the major Jewish holidays is Passover This holiday commemorates the Jews liberation from slavery in Egypt which is told in the book of Exodus The word Passover comes from the idea that God passed over the houses of the Israelites when the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were killed The Jews marked their doorsteps with lambs blood to signify that they were children of God Passover is celebrated each spring for eight days during the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar About 3000 years ago the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians They were forced to do hard work with little food and they had no freedoms Moses was commanded by God to lead the Jews out of slavery Moses asked the Pharaoh to free the Jews Each time he refused and a plague fell on the Egyptians After the tenth plague in which the firstborn in every Egyptian house dies the Pharaoh agreed to let the Jews go They wandered in exile for forty years before they found their promised land Passover is celebrated by Jews all over the world to remember the first momentous event in Jewish history This year Passover begins on April 20th The most important night is the first night On the first night a special family meal called the Seder is held Symbolic foods such as matzo are eaten during the Seder Matzo is unleavened bread which is eaten because the Jews had to leave Egypt so fast that they didnt have time to wait for their bread to rise The meal is preceded by prayers and songs from the Haggadah The Haggadah tells the story of Passover and each person at the table reads from it During the Seder it is traditional for the youngest child to ask four questions The answers to these questions give the meaning of Passover The Passover ceremony includes the drinking of wine One cup
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