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Illuminated Haggadah Exhibit ~ Page 1

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Preparing the Matzah

Ms. 450

The Matzah we eat on the first night of Passover is called matzat mitzvah ("precept matzah") or matzat shemirah ("observance matzah"). The wheat to make this matzah was traditionally watched over during its harvesting, winnowing, milling and baking to make sure it did not become leavened.

Ms. 450

Matzah was prepared in three stages: kneading the dough, forming it into the cakes, and baking it. Matzah could be baked at home by individual families or the community could gather together to bake their matzot in a communal oven.


Searching for Hametz


On the night of the 13th of Nisan--the 12th if the 13th is a Saturday--it is a custom to search the household for leaven by the light of a candle and using a feather as a whisk broom. Some is always found--where it was hidden before the search!

Ms. 445

Ms. 444

On the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan--or on the preceding Friday if Passover begins Saturday night--the "found" leaven is burned or fed to the birds.

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