The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
The Feast Of Passover begins the Feast Of Unleavened Bread. The First Day being the 15th of Nisan which begins with the traditional Seder. However, the activities in the Holy Land are far from over. Jews the world over, celebrate the Feast Of Unleavened Bread for a full eight days, except for some Reformed and other progressive Jewish believers. During this time no leaven will be found in the homes of Jewish believers and neither will it be used or cooked with. This will also include restaurants, public markets, bakeries, etc. This follows the commandments given to the people in the Books of Exodus and Leviticus.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is sometimes called The Festival of Matzot. You will find the commandment to keep these two feasts in the Book of Leviticus:
"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk is the LORD's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work."
Observant Jews, the world over, spend several weeks before the Passover Seder and then the Feast of Unleavened Bread to do a thorough housecleaning. Every small crumb of chametz or leaven must be found and gotten rid of. All traces of flour and yeast must be gotten rid of from the kitchen and indeed the whole house.
If you are going to be traveling in Israel or Samaria during this time, you may find that your favorite bakery will not be open. Often this is a traditional time to close the Bakeries completely and enjoy the week long feast. In addition to the regular Sabbath Days, these Feast Days include two extra days that are as Sabbaths and restaurants, transportation, and all Jewish commerce will be closed. It is good to plan ahead for these times.
This is a fun time to enjoy the creativity of cooks the world over as they use the matzo in very different and creative ways during this week. While the days in between the beginning and the end are not special set apart Sabbath Days, the whole week is reverent and you will find many special services at the area Synagogues. Things will move at a different pace in the land. What a special time to visit! So relax and enjoy your Israel adventure. Explore, mingle with the locals, and prepare for those times that are considered Sabbaths.
For those traveling who are wanting to find local events, a good starting place is any Chabad House, as it caters to those traveling. The Seder and much of the observation of this feast is done in homes as families. Visitors will find a few public events in and around Jerusalem. Chabad Houses are good to keep lists of these events and also host their own events. Enjoy your adventure to this special land during this special time.
Published on [email protected] April 12th at: