54 THE QUEENS COURIER • PASSOVER • APRIL 11, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
What is the meaning of Passover?
People of the Jewish faith will celebrate
the eight-day festival of Passover beginning
at sundown on Monday, April 10.
Th e festival commemorates the Israelites’
freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt.
Th is holy time is commemorated with
Seder meals that feature four cups of
wine, matzah and bitter herbs, and the
retelling of the story of the Exodus. In
Hebrew, Passover is known as Pesach
(meaning to pass over), as God passed
over the Israelites’ homes when killing
the Egyptian fi rstborn on the very fi rst
According to scripture, God sent the
prophet Moses to the Egyptian pharaos
demanding that the Israelites, who had
been subjected to many decades of slavery,
be freed. When the Pharaoh refused,
God sent upon Egypt nine devastating
plagues that destroyed the land. Still, the
Pharaoh would not yield.
Finally, in the Jewish year 2448, God
sent the tenth plague, killing the fi rstborn
of Egypt. In doing so, the Israelites were
spared, as the plague “passed over” their
homes. Th is plague caused the Pharaoh to
virtually chase the Israelites out of Egypt.
Th e Israelites left in a hurry, bringing
with them unleavened bread. More than
600,000 men, women and children left
Egypt and began the trek to Mount Sinai.
In ancient times, Passover was observed
with the sacrifi ce of a paschal lamb that
was roasted and eaten at the Seder on
the fi rst night of the festival. However,
this practice was largely ended aft er the
Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in the
fi rst century.
Today, the fi rst two days and the last
two days of Passover (the latter commemorating
the parting of the Red Sea)
are observed holidays. Candles are lit at
night, and kiddush and holiday meals are
enjoyed. Th e middle four days are called
Chol Hamoed, semi-festive “intermediate
days,” when most forms of work are
To commemorate the unleavened bread
that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt,
we don’t eat—or even retain in our possession—
any chametz from midday of
the day before Passover until the conclusion
of the holiday. Chametz means leavened
grain—any food or drink that contains
even a trace of wheat, barley, rye,
oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which
wasn’t guarded from leavening or fermentation.
Th is includes bread, cake, cookies,
cereal, pasta, and most alcoholic beverages.
Moreover, almost any processed food
or drink can be assumed to be chametz
unless certifi ed otherwise.
Before Passover, Jewish homes must be
rid of chametz, either disposing of leavened
products or giving them away to
those who aren’t Jewish. Some Jewish
sects burn any chametz on the morning
before Passover. Instead of chametz, Jews
eat matzah—fl at unleavened bread.
Th e highlight of Passover is the Seder,
observed on each of the fi rst two nights
of the holiday. Th e Seder is a 15-step family
oriented tradition and ritual-packed
Th e focal points of the Seder are: eating
matzah, eating bitter herbs—to commemorate
the bitter slavery endured by
the Israelites, drinking four cups of wine
or grape juice to celebrate freedom, and
the recitation of the Haggadah, a liturgy
that describes in detail the story of the
Exodus from Egypt.
Th e Haggadah is the fulfi llment of the
biblical obligation to recount to our children
the story of the Exodus on the night
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BEN’S IS CLOSED FOR THE 8 DAYS OF PASSOVER.
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Catered for 10 Guests
10 pieces of Gelfilte Fish
1 qt. Chopped Liver
4 qts. Chicken Soup with 12 Matzo Balls
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5 Roast Chickens
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1 qt. Cranberry-Pineapple Compote
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2019 PASSOVER HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
Friday, April 19th: Dining Room Closes At 3pm; Takeout Counter/Catering Pickup Open Until 4pm.
Reopen Sunday, April 28th.