The Seder Plate
You can go here for an online visual of the plate and it’s parts.
The First step preparing for Passover – cleaning
In most cultures there is a “spring cleaning” that takes place. For Judaism, it is specifically attached to the commandment to get rid of all leavening and associated products.
The commandment is to get rid of chamatz. Chamatz is defined as:
Fermented or leavened wheat, rye, oats, spelt and barley. When these grains come in contact with water, they leaven within 18 minutes. In the case of hot or salted water, leavening takes place instantly.
Chametz may not be consumed either by eating or drinking, and may not be held in one’s possession, nor may any benefit be derived from Chametz. Grain flour is commonly produced from grains that have been washed and tempered. Tempering is the process by which grains are softened by soaking in water, and this flour and all products made with it are, therefore, chametz.
(From the OUKosher.org website)
For lots of Passover information from a traditional perspective check out:
No matter how far you intend to go with your observance of the Passover rules it is good to know what they are. Then you can make an informed decision about what you will do.
If you go to a Jewish website, yahoo group or other communal spot you’ll see people refer to “the C word” – cleaning the house for Passover. You don’t have to make it a burden. My kids loved the search for chamatz. True, I did the real cleaning but they went through all the pantry and shelves pulling out cereal, pasta and beans. Everything went into a box that we “sold” to our next door neighbor. She gamely gave me a dollar that went up on the frig under a magnet.
Find the fun in each step of Pesach (Passover)! There is so much fun to be had.
General Passover Information
If you would like a liberal overview of Passover take a look at www.urj.org (the Reform movement’s website) where you’ll find lots of information. Go to their home page and click around on the Passover links:
Locally the SF Federation has a great page with info –
This will take you straight to the Passover page:
Start exploring the recipes that are either specifically for Passover or can work for Passover because they don’t contain any of the forbidden foods.
Haroset/Charoses – by any name, it’s darn good!
Check out some charoses recipes on this site. Clink on Passover and you’ll be sure to find it. One is a California charoset made with avocado. Another is one I got from the Multiracial Jewish Network and is Haitian with tropical fruits. I also list the standard Ashekenazi apples and walnuts recipe. Try something new this year. Have at least two charoses recipes and have your guests do a taste test for themselves.
Some recipes using matzah:
Kosher for Passover recipes