Passover, Pesach, is an eight day holiday that commemorates the flight and freedom of the Israelites from Egypt, during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II. Because the Jews were travelling, they had no time to prepare and bake bread. Instead, they ate unleavened bread baked in the sun during their journey. For this reason, observant Jews eat no food that is leavened during Passover, but rather eat matzoh and other specially prepared breads, cakes, desserts etc.
Before the holiday begins a traditional Jewish woman/wife will remove and discard all food with leavening from her household, doing a thorough job, to assure not so much of a crumb remains.
Passover is a family holiday and a happy one. The first night is the most imporant, followed by the second night. It is traditional for a Jewish family to gather on both these nights for a special dinner called a Seder where the story of the Israelite exodus from Egypt is retold by the reading of "The Book of the Exodus," the Haggadah..----
Pesach commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. The first seder is on the 14th. On the night of the 15th, the second seder is held. On that night Jews start counting the omer; The omer is a counting down of the days from the time they left Egypt, until the time they arrived at Mount Sinai. This 49 day period of counting is known as the sefirah, and bridges Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (The Feast of Weeks). This period is defined by the Torah as the period for Jews to bring special offerings to the Temple In Jerusalem; According to Judaism, this marks physical the spiritual connection between Pesach and Shavuot.
Passover begins in the Roman Calendar at sundown, Saturday, April 7, this year, 2001. Passover will end at sundown, Sunday, April 15.