פֶּסַח – The Passover Festival, also referred to as the Festival of Matzot (Leviticus 23:6). In Eretz Yisrael it lasts seven days. The first and last days are Festivals, while the days between them are the intermediate days. In the  Diaspora the first two are Festival days, the next four days are intermediate days, and the seventh and eighth days are Festival days. Seder night, the first evening of Passover is characterized by several mitzvot:

  • Eating the Paschal lamb, matza, and bitter herbs;
  • drinking four cups of wine;
  • and reciting the Haggadah recalling the Exodus from Egypt.

During the remaining days of Passover eating matza is optional. During the entire Festival of Passover it is prohibited to eat, derive benefit from, or possess leaven.

« Back to Glossary Index