Israel Science and Technology Directory

Jewish Holidays

Passover -Pesach

HAPPY Passover! A musical greeting from the Israel Philharmonic

Passover (in Hebrew Pesach- פסח) is a 7-day holiday that commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. The story of this historical event is written in the Book of Exodus of the Bible.

Passover starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Nisan. Like all Jewish holidays, Passover begins on the evening of the previous day (Nisan 14). It ends on the evening of Nisan 21.

Only the first and the last seventh day are full holidays when work is prohibited, and public transportation is stopped. On these two days businesses are also closed and additional restrictions apply.

Chol HaMoed (חול המועד)

The 2nd through 6th day of Pesach are considered Chol HaMoed (חול המועד), which can be considered as "semi-holidays" in terms of Judaic restrictions. On these days, public transportation works, and businesses are open. Many Israelis go on trips to national parks for picnic and sight-seeing with the family. The policy of worker vacation on Chol HaMoed is determined by each business, without a strict national policy. Some businesses grant half a day paid vacation for each day.

Biblical passages

Exodus 12:14-20

  1. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
  2. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
  3. And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.
  4. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever.
  5. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
  6. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land.
  7. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

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