Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Picture this: A dark starry night in the land of Egypt. The Jews were fleeing from Egypt after pharaoh had given them the go-ahead, for the second time. The cooks are removing the bread from the ovens, but it is flat because it didn't have time to rise. All this is part of the Jewish holiday Passover, but it is about more than flat bread, it is about traditions, a fascinating history, and some good food.

Eventually this no-time-to-rise bread became matzah, the staple of the Passover diet (bread is "banned"). There are many other foods, such as matzah ball soup, a soup made with broth and balls of matzah meal. Wine soaked apples is another dish, it represents bricks and mortar that the Hebrews made. Some families eat brisket, a beef dish. Like all holidays Passover food is a tradition, but there are many other traditions too.

One of the largest parts of Passover is tradition.

Most traditions of Passover are part of the Seder, a ceremony involving a lambs bone, salt water, vayah (a boiled egg), and greens, just to name a few. Everything in the Seder represents something, the bone represents lamb's blood, salt water represents tears, vayah represents a new beginning, and the greens represent that prosperity can happen. There are lots of traditions outside of the Seder, for example a lot of families do what is called the cup of Elijah, which is a cup of wine that "Elijah" comes in the night and drinks. If "Elijah" drinks the wine you are brought good luck in the coming year. Another tradition is for an adult to wrap matzah in a napkin. After they wrap it, it is hidden. The objective is for the children to find it, the kid who finds it gets a...