Explaining Kosher for Passover

It’s that time of year again: Spring has (hopefully) arrived and the boxes of matzah as well as a variety of Peeps have hit the shelves in your local grocery stores. Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays, celebrating freedom from slavery and the series of events that led to the Israelites truly becoming a people, bonded by a miraculous and important shared experience. As many of us gather at the seder table this year, whether for the first time or as you’ve been doing your whole life, what we will explain the most—after the story of the great Exodus, of course—is food. The inevitable what can you eat/ what do you eat/ what can I serve conversation that might take place in our modern world of vegetarianism to gluten free to dairy free and beyond, is even more complicated when you add in kosher for Passover.

If you’re undertaking “keeping Passover” for the first time, or if you live with someone who is or are visiting someone who might be, here are a few things to keep in mind that will hopefully make the K for P situation a bit easier.

Why Do We Keep Kosher?

In the Book of Exodus, as the former Hebrew slaves are fleeing Egypt, having finally been set free by Pharaoh, they quickly collect their things and must put not-yet-risen bread dough on their backs. The hot sun bakes the bread but it does not rise; alas, the first matzah. Therefore, over the seven or eight days of Passover as prescribed by the Torah (we’ll get to that later), we do not eat leavened bread. It is a reminder of the struggle our ancestors undertook both as slaves and in their quest for freedom. We are reminded each year to cherish our freedom and not take it for granted. Therefore, we retell our story together with friends and family during the seder and symbolically mimic this journey over the course of the Passover meal and duration of the holiday.

Read on to find out the rules for keeping kosher for Passover at 18Doors.org.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: 18Doors