The Jewish holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an eight-day festival celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan.
This year, it runs from March 27 through April 4.
Passover celebrates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Following its various rituals and traditions allows the Jewish community to relive and experience the freedom of their ancestors.
This includes substituting matzah for leavened grains, from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday.
Passover is divided into two parts.
The first two days (March 27 and March 28) and the last two days (April 3 and April 4) are full-fledged holidays.
Holiday candles are lit at night, and festive meals (Seders) are usually enjoyed for one or two days. The middle four days are referred to as Chol Hamoed, or semi-festive “intermediate days.”
The seventh and eighth days of Passover, meanwhile, are celebrated as Yom Tov, holidays, capping the weeklong celebration that begins with the first Seder.
These final days of Passover begin before sunset on April 2 and end after nightfall on April 4.
It’s customary for Jews to not work during this time, aside from food preparation, reciting holiday prayers, lighting candles and some other special practices.
During morning services on the seventh day, Torah reading includes the biblical reading of the parting of the Red Sea and the exodus from Egypt.
During morning services on the eighth day, memorial prayers are recited for dead relatives.
Local synagogue information
Various in-person and virtual Passover services are being offered throughout The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Here is a listing of local synagogues and Jewish houses of worship:
- Chabad Lubavitch of Tampa Bay, Tampa: Call 813-963-2317, or visit ChabadOfTampaBay.com.
- Chabad Jewish Center of West Pasco, Trinity: Call 727-376-3366, or visit ChabadWP.com.
- Chabad at Wiregrass, Wesley Chapel: Call 813-642-3244, or visit ChabadatWiregrass.com.
- Congregation Beth Am, Tampa: Call 813-968-8511, or visit BethAmTampa.org.
- Congregation Beth Chavarim, Land O’ Lakes: Email .
- Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa: Call 813-962-6338, or visit KolAmi.org.
- Congregation Mekor Shalom, Tampa: Call 813-963-1818, or visit MekorShalom.org.
- Shoresh David Messianic Synagogue, Wesley Chapel: Call 813-760-3269, or visit ShoreshDavid.org.
Published March 31, 2021