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What to Write in a Passover Card

If you're looking for what to say to someone at Passover, you're looking in the right place. ☺ Here are a few phrases to help you convey your Passover wishes to your Jewish friends and associates.

Wishes for good health and joy in the rebirth and renewal of springtime.

Wishing you joy and a Happy and Healthy Passover.

Wishing you and yours a happy and peaceful Passover.

Happy Passover to you and those you love.

May this Passover bring you peace, happiness, love and every blessing from above.

Wishing you and those you love peace, health, and happiness, at Passover and always.

...or simply: "Happy Passover."

Passover 101: What is Passover?

Passover is a holiday of survival, joy, and rebirth. Passover is a time of remembrance and celebration of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt at a time when they were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses.

The primary purpose of celebrating Passover is to recount the story of this Passover exodus to the children, accomplished throughout the world by reading from a book called the "Haggadah," or the story of the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt.

The cracker-like bread traditionally eaten throughout the eight-day holiday, is a direct result of the hasty exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. They had to pull up stakes and leave so quickly that their bread had little or no time to rise!

Traditional Passover Foods

The "Seder" is a dinner in which invited friends and family recount and explain the story of the Exodus. The symbolic foods on the Seder plate speak to how quickly the Jewish people left Egypt, led by Moses, and their twenty year journey to the promised land of Israel. Every item on the Seder plate has a purpose:

  • Shank bone

    A piece of roasted meat (zeroah - meaning "arm") represents the paschal lamb sacrifice made the night the ancient Hebrews fled.
  • Hard-boiled egg

    A hard boiled egg (baytsah) represents the holiday offering brought in the days of the Holy Temple - signifying springtime and renewal.
  • Bitter herbs

    Maror (grated horseradish) is a reminder of the bitterness of the slavery of our forefathers in Egypt. [Eat a little to burn the "shlecht" or evil out of you!).
  • Charoset

    A sweet mixture of chopped apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon which resemble the mortar and brick made by the Hebrew slaves when they toiled for Pharaoh.
  • Karpas

    A non-bitter root vegetable like celery or parsley or potato which all symbolize the freshness of spring. It is placed next to a small bowl of salted water.
  • Salt water

    Salt water symbolizes the tears and sweat of enslavement, though paradoxically, it's also a symbol for purity, springtime, and the sea, the mother of all life. Often a single bowl of salt water sits on the table into which each person dips their karpas during the Seder. Then, it's traditional to begin the actual Seder meal, with each person eating a hardboiled egg dipped in the bowl of salt water.
  • Matzah

    Perhaps the most important symbol on the Seder table, it is a plate that has a stack of three pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) on it.

The Story of Passover

The story goes that while the Israelites repeatedly begged for their release from bondage, Pharaoh vacillated and ultimately brought about the "ten plagues," or calamities, one for each of the ten times Pharaoh reportedly approved, then reneged on his promise.

After the plagues of blood, frogs, lice, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locust and darkness, the tenth and final plague cast upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians was the death of their firstborn. The angel of death reportedly mercifully "passed over" specially marked Jewish homes whose firstborn children were therefore spared, thus the name, "Passover."

The story of Passover is a testament to the strength and survival of the Jewish people. It's because of their survival and having overcome so many challenges that the holiday of Passover is one that is celebrated by Jewish people worldwide.