Passover 2024: Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Monday

Passover, also known as Pesach in Hebrew, holds profound significance in Jewish tradition as a time of remembrance, reflection, and celebration.

As Passover 2024 approaches and the sun sets on Monday evening, Jewish communities around the world will embark on a journey steeped in centuries-old rituals and customs.

In this extensive exploration, we delve into the rich tapestry of Passover, its origins, symbolism, and contemporary relevance, as the Jewish holiday commences at sundown on Monday.

Origins and Significance of Passover:

The roots of Passover lie in the biblical narrative of the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.

As recounted in the book of Exodus, the Israelites were enslaved for generations until Moses, with divine guidance, led them to freedom.

Passover serves as a commemoration of this pivotal moment in Jewish history, symbolizing the triumph of liberty over oppression, faith over despair, and hope over adversity.

The holiday, beginning on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, spans eight days (seven days in Israel) and is marked by a series of rituals, prayers, and gatherings that bring the community together in remembrance and celebration.

The Story of Exodus:

At the heart of Passover lies the story of Exodus, a timeless saga of resilience, redemption, and divine intervention.

The Exodus narrative recounts the journey of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.

Through a series of miraculous events, including the ten plagues, the Passover sacrifice, and the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites found deliverance from their oppressors and forged a path toward a new beginning.

The story of Exodus serves as a testament to the enduring power of faith, perseverance, and the human spirit, inspiring generations of Jews to embrace their heritage and uphold the values of justice and compassion.

Preparation for Passover:

In the weeks leading up to Passover, Jewish households engage in a process of spiritual and physical preparation to observe the holiday with reverence and devotion.

Central to this preparation is the removal of chametz, any leavened bread or grain product that has been allowed to ferment and rise.

Symbolizing the haste with which the Israelites fled Egypt, chametz is meticulously purged from Jewish homes, and any remaining traces are sold or set aside before the onset of Passover.

This act of purification serves as a symbolic cleansing of the soul, preparing individuals for the spiritual journey of the holiday.

The Seder Meal:

A cornerstone of Passover observance is the Seder meal, a ceremonial feast held on the first two nights of the holiday (the first night only in Israel).

The word “Seder” means “order” in Hebrew, reflecting the structured format of the meal as outlined in the Haggadah, the text that guides participants through the rituals and retells the story of the Exodus.

During the Seder, families and friends gather around the table to partake in a symbolic journey through the narrative of Passover, engaging in rituals, prayers, and discussions that deepen their connection to Jewish tradition and heritage.

Key Elements of the Seder:

Central to the Seder is the Seder plate, a symbolic centerpiece containing several key elements that represent different aspects of the Passover story:

Maror: Bitter herbs, such as horseradish, symbolizing the bitterness of slavery.

Charoset: A mixture of fruits, nuts, and wine, symbolizing the mortar used by the Israelites in their labor.

Karpas: A green vegetable, such as parsley, symbolizing springtime and renewal.

Zeroa: A roasted shank bone or chicken wing, symbolizing the Paschal lamb sacrificed during the Exodus.

Beitzah: A roasted egg, symbolizing rebirth and renewal.

Chazeret: Additional bitter herbs, often romaine lettuce, used for the Hillel sandwich.

The Haggadah:

Integral to the Seder is the Haggadah, a text that guides participants through the order of the meal and recounts the story of the Exodus.

The Haggadah, which means “telling” or “narrative” in Hebrew, contains prayers, blessings, songs, and rituals that evoke the themes of Passover and foster a sense of connection to Jewish tradition and heritage.

As participants read from the Haggadah, they are transported back in time to relive the events of the Exodus, forging a deeper understanding of their ancestors’ journey and the enduring significance of Passover in Jewish life.

Modern Observances:

While rooted in ancient tradition, Passover also encompasses contemporary observances that reflect the evolving nature of Jewish life and identity. These may include:


Many Jewish communities emphasize the importance of inclusivity and diversity during Passover, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds to participate in the holiday celebrations.

In doing so, they embody the spirit of hospitality and unity that lies at the heart of the Passover story.

Social Justice:

Passover serves as a time to reflect on contemporary issues of social justice and liberation, drawing parallels between the struggles of the Israelites in ancient times and the ongoing fight for freedom and equality today.

Through discussions, readings, and charitable initiatives, participants seek to translate the timeless lessons of Passover into meaningful action that addresses the pressing challenges of our time.

Community Engagement:

Passover often involves communal gatherings, charitable activities, and outreach efforts to support those in need.

Whether through volunteering at food banks, organizing Passover seders for underserved communities, or participating in interfaith dialogues, Jews around the world strive to embody the values of compassion, empathy, and solidarity that define the Passover holiday.


As Passover 2024 commences at sundown on Monday, Jewish communities worldwide will gather to embark on a journey of remembrance, renewal, and celebration.

Through rituals, prayers, and gatherings, participants will honor the ancient traditions of their ancestors and reaffirm their commitment to the values of freedom, justice, and compassion that lie at the heart of the Passover story.

As families come together to share in the Seder meal and retell the timeless narrative of the Exodus, they will forge connections that transcend time and space, uniting past, present, and future in a celebration of faith, heritage, and hope.

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