Passover and its Symbolic Foods
. The key to Passover is organization. Not only must special food be bought and stored, but the entire house, including garage and cars must be rid of chametz, any leavened food.
On the very first day, you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel" (Exodus 12:15).
Chametz: So what exactly is chametz?
Chametz is a mixture of flour and water that is allowed to rise. In addition to bread, it refers to any kind of food that has leavening properties or capabilities. We are permitted to only eat foods which do not contain chametz. In regards to prepared foods, we are only permitted to eat foods marked Kosher For Passover and which have been prepared under the direct supervision of a recognized authority on the laws of Koshruth.
Similarly, we are only permitted to use utensils, dishes, pots and pans which have been specially cleaned or reserved for Passover. Since this can be costly, many families use foil, paper and plastic goods wherever possible.
The laws regarding hametz are very strict. Not only are Jews prohibited from eating chametz, we are also prohibited against having any chametz in our possession. This is why in the weeks leading up to Passover, (there are four weeks after Purim), it is a good idea to start using up chametz. When food shopping, buy only what you think you will need for the short term. This will cut down on what you may have to throw out or store before the holiday.
The rabbis were so afraid that people might miss a piece of chametz that they instituted a few last minute rituals. The night before Passover there...