Birds twitter and flit, busy with their nests, while cheerful crocuses pop their pretty heads above the damp, freshly thawed ground. This is spring, my most relished of seasons, which brings with it the Jewish (and Samaritan) festival of Passover.
Pesach, or the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, celebrates the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and their delivery from slavery. The feast spans eight days and is marked by special prayer services and holiday meals which prohibit the eating of chametz – basically the five grains, wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt and anything made with them.
Bread and regular grain products like cereal make way for matzah during the festival days — this is a flat, unleavened cracker-like bread made from wheat which hasn’t been given a chance to ‘rise’ – and which symbolises the fact that the enslaved Jews had to leave Egypt in a hurry when they won their freedom.
Matzah tastes very much like a cracker and some of its incarnations – salted, or covered in chocolate – are rather morish. I will abstain from describing the nitty gritties of how to make it, being as it is a complicated process and since it’s easily purchased. I will, however, add a picture of my son making some matzah – just to prove it can be done 😀