News Article

Chag Pesach Samaech!

From the 22 April to the 30 April, Jewish communities around the world celebrate Passover, one of the most important of the Jewish religious festivals. Passover, or Pesach, is not only a commemoration of ancient history but a time to celebrate liberation, renewal, and spiritual awakening. Embedded within its rituals and traditions are profound lessons that transcend time and resonate with people of all backgrounds. 

At its heart, Passover is a celebration of freedom and the resilience of the human spirit. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope prevails. It makes one reflect on standing up for what is right, advocating for justice and working towards a better tomorrow. 

One of the central rituals of Passover is the Seder, a ceremonial meal that brings families and communities together to retell the story of the Exodus through symbolic foods, songs, and readings from the Haggadah. London's diverse Jewish population ensures a variety of Passover observances, with each community adding its unique cultural elements to the celebration. From traditional Seders in family homes to communal gatherings in synagogues and community centres, each celebration looks different. 

One of the central features of the Seder is the Seder plate, which holds symbolic foods representing different aspects of the Exodus story. These include matzo (unleavened bread), bitter herbs (symbolising the bitterness of slavery), charoset (a sweet mixture representing the mortar used by the Israelite slaves), and a shank bone (symbolising the Passover sacrifice). 

In addition to the Seder, people celebrate Passover by observing dietary restrictions, such as abstaining from leavened bread and other chametz products throughout the eight days of the festival. This dietary practice serves as a tangible reminder of the Israelites' haste in leaving Egypt, as they did not have time to let their bread rise. 

London's Jewish community also engages in acts of charity and social justice during Passover, reflecting the festival's emphasis on compassion and empathy for those in need. Many organisations in the city organise Passover-related initiatives, such as food drives, to support vulnerable members of the community.


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