Erin Chang

Foto Erin Chang
You’re supposed to lean back and enjoy the meal while considering the story and its meaning. In that regard, it’s quite a philosophical tradition.
Erin Chang
student Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Pesach (or Passover in English) is the holiday that celebrates the story of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. It’s the classic story of Moses and how he frees the Jews from the Pharaoh’s enslavement. Moses ushers the Jews together out of Egypt and the Ten Commandments are received.

It was always a fun holiday to celebrate, because the tradition is to hold a seder, a long dinner in which, whilst eating and drinking, you reflect on the story. The tradition of the seder is actually rooted in the ancient Greek symposiums. You’re supposed to lean back and enjoy the meal whilst considering the story and its meaning. In that regard, it’s quite a philosophical tradition. During the meal, for instance, the youngest child is supposed to ask and answer the question “ma’ nishtana?” (“why is this night different?”).

Passover was always an occasion when the whole family gathered around the table. It forced us to spend the whole evening together and talk to each other, not just about mundane subjects, but also about meaningful ones. My best memory was always the food. The matzah ball soup, the brisket, the lamb shank. Even the gefilte fish (a dish that I hate to this day). Judaism is a religion that is absolutely inseparable from its food. All the food at the seder is symbolic, including the four cups of wine drunk by the adults.