Preschoolers at the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County in Irvine got ready to celebrate Passover. The Jewish holiday will begin at sundown April 18, and the preschoolers were busy Thursday using rolling pins and learning how to make matzo.
Passover commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Its name refers to the passage in the Book of Exodus (12:11) when God "passed over" the houses of the Israelites during the 10th plague. The overarching themes of Passover are redemption and freedom.
It is traditional on Passover to only eat unleavened bread. When Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover (which lasts eight days) no leavened bread is eaten. Matzo (MAH-tzah), flat unleavened bread, is the primary symbol of the holiday.