How Passover is observed in the Holy Land

  • An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man inspects matzah in a bakery in an Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem on March 29, 2015. Matzah, an unleavened bread, is used instead of bread during the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, commemorating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in Biblical times. 
  • Schoolchildren stand in the doorway and watch as ultra-Orthodox Jews prepare matzah, in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv on March 30, 2015.
  • An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man places kneaded dough on a stick before it is placed in the oven to prepare matzah, the traditional unleavened bread eaten during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv on April 1, 2015.
  • Young ultra-Orthodox Jews carrie a sack of potatoes during food distribution in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel on March 31, 2015.
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jewish youths watch as a man dips cooking utensils in boiling water to remove remains of leaven in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Passover, in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on April 1, 2015. 
  • An Orthodox Jewish man dips cooking utensils in boiling water to remove remains of leaven in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Passover in the city of Ashdod in Israel on April 2, 2015.
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jews collect water from a mountain spring near Jerusalem to be used in matzah during the Maim Shelanu (Rested Water) ceremony on April 2, 2015. 
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jews collect water from a mountain spring near Jerusalem to be used in matzah during the Maim Shelanu (Rested Water) ceremony on April 2, 2015. 
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jews leave the site after collecting water from a mountain spring near Jerusalem to be used in matzah during the Maim Shelanu (Rested Water) ceremony on April 2, 2015. 
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men pray as they burn leavened bread in the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel on April 3, 2015. The burning of all products containing leavening agents, or Chametz, is a customary preparation ahead of the eight-day festival of Passover, which begins on the evening of April 3 and end on the evening of April 11.
  • People react as ultra-Orthodox Jewish men burn leaven in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover on April 3, 2015. 
  • Young Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on as others burn leavened bread at Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel on April 3, 2015.
  • Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men burn leavened bread at Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel on April 3, 2015. 
  • A Ultra Orthodox Jewish man holds a candle as he performs a ritual in which he looks for remains of leaven after cleaning his home, on the night before the upcoming Passover holiday, in Bnei Brak, on April 3, 2015. 

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Sundown on April 3rd will mark the beginning of Passover, one of Judaism’s most sacred holidays. 

The week-long festival, which ends at sundown on April 11, commemorates the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt and their exodus, led by Moses, thousands of years ago.

In modern day Israel, the days leading up to Passover are filled with traditions to purify the household for the festival; all cookware is aggressively cleaned to remove any traces of leaven, or “chametz,” and any remaining leavened food in the household is burned.   

Take a look at these rituals in practice as Israeli Jews prepare for this year’s “pesach.”

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