Pesach / Passover
There is no more popular festival than the festival of Pesach or Passover. Originally a spring festival, Pesach has for centuries been celebrated to remember the Exodus, the story of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (c.f. Moses). Although this event took place more then 4,000 years ago, for Jews it remains the most important example of God's power. The festival of Pesach is a reliving of the events of the exodus story. This story is told in the Hagadah.
The Seder meal
Although there are services in the synagogue the most important part of the festival takes place in the home. Before Pesach begins the house will be thoroughly cleaned to make sure that there is no leavened bread in the house. When the Jews left Egypt they had to pack so quickly that they took no yeast. This reminds the Jews that during the time of the Exodus they had only unleavened bread (matzoh). So during the festival of Pesach the Jew will only eat unleavened bread.
On the eve of the Passover the Jew will go to the synagogue and then return home for the Passover meal. This special meal is called the Seder. This meal starts with the blessing of wine, four glasses of wine are drunk to remind Jews of God's four promises to Moses. The Seder plate has seven items all of which have a symbolic meaning. They remind the Jews of part of the Exodus:
Matzah bread. Three loves of Matzoh, or unleavened bread. This helps the Jews feel solidarity with their ancestors, who were slaves.
Salt water. Some of the…