Passover happens every year, whether we are ready for it or not. And while the holiday’s about the Hebrew’s freedom from slavery in Egypt, for many of us we make it about the food. We look forward to our family seder with special delicacies, we kibitz about our recipes, and we kvetch about our restrictions.
And this year, while completely different in some ways, it’s exactly the same in others. The holiday will start at sundown, and end eight days later. We still need to cook, clean, and prepare.
For us, the community seder is canceled. We are home with our family. That’s it. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on certain traditions. Had we been better prepared before the lockdown it might have been easier, but that’s just something else to whine about today.
Key Passover words and expressions to know before your family seder
These words are originally translated from Hebrew or Yiddish. As a result, there are multiple spellings for some. I have included only the most common. They are listed here alphabetically.
- Chag sameach: Have a happy holiday.
- Chametz (hametz): Any food that contains a leavening agent. (Not allowed during Passover)
- Charoset (haroset): Mixture of apples, nuts, honey and sometimes wine. Our charoset recipe also has raisins and is my favorite of the seder foods.
- Dayenu: The name of a song in the Haggadah. Literally means, “It is enough for us.”
- Haggadah: The book used to guide the seder. If you are having a family seder this year, you might want to check out these children’s Haggadahs.
- Matzo (matzah): Unleavened bread.
- Pesach: the Hebrew name of the holiday. Literally means “pass over.”
- Seder: The gathering, meal, and ceremony that takes place the first two nights of Passover.
For more Passover words, check out this glossary of terms used in the Haggadah from Chabad.
Prepping and cleaning for Passover
Looking on the bright side, having the entire family home means more hands to do the work. The reality is that every other year, the lion’s share of the work falls on me, the wife, mom, and general holiday organizer. This year, it will be different. So, family, if you are reading this, you know your future.
To be honest, we are not super rigid on the traditions, but we do our best. However, we will scrub the house from top to bottom to be sure to eliminate every drop of chametz. And the foods that still contain it, we will move them into an airtight storage container, or the garage freezer.
More help for your family seder
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