Passover | Kokia House Visitors Center, Jerusalem

Exodus 12:14-16 “And this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to Jehovah…Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread;…And on the first day you shall have a holy convocation, and on the seventh day a holy convocation. No work at all shall be done on them…”

During Passover, It is forbidden to sell or buy food with yeast, such as bread. No work shall be done on the first and last days of the festival. Most households take this opportunity for spring cleaning. Modern Passover rituals strictly follow the instructions of the Haggadah. The Seder, with rigorous ceremonial steps, is the highlight of the festival, and a time for the whole family to gather around the table and celebrate with the neighbors.

However, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, especially in the traditional Jewish districts, the Israeli government strictly prohibits gatherings and has caused some conflict between the police and the public, sometimes with forced evictions. The congregational meetings in the synagogue are either cancelled or held via on-line meetings. Sometimes group praying is allowed as long as social distancing is maintained. Overall, the holiday atmosphere is much less jubilant than in previous years.