Understanding Passover Rituals & Macaroons!

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – One of the most famous Passover ritual is the ritual of not eating leavened bread. But what’s the meaning behind it? Jeff Rembrant from the Jewish Community Center in Springfield shared more about Passover and made a delicious recipe for macaroons.

Pre-passover Family Dinner
Sunday, April 13th

All families are invited to join us for dinner and child-friendly Passover fun.
$5 per person; FREE, children ages 2 and under. Pre-registration is required by April 10th. Call (413) 739-4715 or stop by the JCC front desk. Questions? Contact Becca or call (413) 739-4715


3 egg whites (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond extract)
3 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips – optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat egg whites until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla, beating until peaks are very stiff.
By hand, fold in the coconut.
Drop rounded teaspoonful of mixture 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets.
Bake approximately 19-20 minutes.
Allow to cool completely and then carefully remove from wax paper.
Makes about 3 dozen macaroons.

For chocolate macaroons, add the melted chocolate to the batter before baking. After baking the cookies when cooled dip one half of the cookie into the melted chocolate for a chocolate coated macaroon.

What is Kosher for Passover and Chametz?
Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully baked within eighteen minutes. As we are commanded by the Torah, if a food contains even a trace of chametz, we don’t eat it, we don’t derive benefit from it, and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession for all the days of Passover.

To be certain that a product is kosher for Passover, it must have rabbinical certification. Otherwise it is possible that it contains chametz ingredients, or traces of chametz if it was processed on the same equipment as chametzproducts. Thus, unless a product is certified Kosher for Passover, we consider itchametz, and make sure not to have it in our possession on Passover.

What is Passover?
The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.

After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G‑d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G‑d’s command. G‑d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.

At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G‑d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G‑d spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes-hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai and their birth as G‑d’s chosen people.

Why 7 Days?
Because that’s what was instructed in the Tenakh (bible):14: And this day shall be for you as a memorial, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for the Lord; throughout your generations, you shall celebrate it as an everlasting statute. 15. For seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes, but on the preceding day you shall clear away all leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leaven from the first day until the seventh day that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

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