Catching up with our Care Professionals during Passover

Our next installment of getting to know our amazing care professionals, Michelle and Karen.

Catching up with our Care Professionals during Passover

Further to our recent series of blogs where we got to meet some of our new care professionals, we decided to catch up with some of our existing care professionals and see what they were getting up to over Passover.The lovely Karen and Michelle take a few minutes out with us to share an insight into Passover and their own traditions and celebrations.

Michelle explains to us that Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is the most important festival in the Jewish calendar. The eight-day holiday is celebrated each spring, usually in March or April. This year Pesach begins before sundown on April 22nd and ends after nightfall on April 30th.

Passover lasts 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside of Israel. It starts with 2 days known as Seder. Michelle and her family take time to come together and celebrate seder, which is the ritual feast at the beginning of Passover. During seder, a member of the family reads the service: During the service the story of Passover is told through readings, songs, prayers, drinking wine and eating specific foods. In Michelle’s family the head of the family reads the service.

Michelle explains to us that during Passover certain foods are not allowed to be eaten, these include, Bread, flour, grains, rice, processed food, and alcohol (except for Kosher/Passover wine).
We can’t wait for Michelle and Karen to pop into the office and sample some of their delicious treats! 😉

We have also added some additional information on how Passover is celebrated within the community.

How is Passover celebrated today?

  • Some families start their celebrations by deep cleaning their houses in order to thoroughly remove any trace   of ‘chametz’ or leaven- any food that has been made with grain and water which has been allowed to ferment and ‘rise’ (e.g. bread, cake, pizza and beer). This is done to remember the time during the exodus when the Israelites had to leave Egypt without having time to bake their bread properly.
  • On the first two nights of Passover, family and friends gather together over a special ‘Seder’ meal. This ritual   uses special cutlery and plates only used for Passover. The story of the ten plagues is read out and a drop of wine spilt for each one in remembrance that liberation for the Jewish people was tinged with sadness at the suffering of the Egyptian people.

What is the Passover meal?

  •  Every part of the meal is symbolic and is eaten in a set order.
  • Matza, or unleavened bread, is eaten three times during the feast.
  • A bone of lamb is eaten to represent a sacrificial lamb, traditionally sacrificed during pilgrim festivals at the temple of Jerusalem.
  • An egg- which becomes harder when cooked, represents the Jewish people’s determination not to abandon their beliefs during their time of enslavement under the Egyptians.
  • Greenery, usually lettuce, is symbolic of new life and saltwater represents an enslaved person’s tear.
  • Four cups of wine are used to symbolise liberty and joy.
  • Charoset- a paste made of apples, nuts and cinnamon and wine represents the mortar used by the Jewish people to build the palaces of Egypt.