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When Passover Falls on Shabbat

Passover starts on Shabbat this year, which among other things, means missing challah but that would have happened anyway at some point during the week.

This is a fairly rare event, although it happened a few years ago in 2012. Because it’s a special Passover, consider catering your Seder with traditional and nontraditional kosher for Passover foods from our catering service located right here in Toronto.

Take a look at the Mitzuyan Kosher Catering Passover menu. We include traditional foods like gefilte fish and matzo ball soup but have you ever had beef kebabs at a Seder? What about grilled salmon? Isn’t it time you did?

Chag Pesach Sameach!

What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers? Here’s a short list:

  1. A special holiday greeting: chag pesach sameach
  2. You will light Shabbat candles and bless the wine and “bread” with different prayers on Friday night.
  3. There will be a havdalah prayer for the second Seder, which begins as Shabbat winds down. This prayer is usually said over a single candle or two candles close enough to make a single flame.
  4. Two Shabbats this year means missing challah twice. This may be a bummer for some but if you talk up the holiday deserts they’ll forget all about it.
  5. Because both Seders fall on weekend nights more guests may come in from out of town.
  6. The wise host will buy more wine this year since it’s more likely all four cups will be consumed.

Also note that Passover falls on Good Friday, a very important holiday for Christians as the Seder was Jesus’ last supper. (Orthodox Christians observe Good Friday the following week.) Inviting friends of that faith to a Seder this year will have a particularly deep meaning.

Passover, Shabbat, and the Hebrew Calendar

The Hebrew calendar is often referred to as a lunar one, but it’s actually lunisolar, meaning it follows lunar months but is based on a solar year, so it’s 12 lunar months of 29 or 30 days, with an extra lunar month added seven times every 19 years.

According to an article I found on the Chicago Rabbinical Council website, the Hebrews followed a calendar written month to month for about 1,671 years. Each month began with a new moon, or Rosh Chodesh. In 4119/359 AD, Hillel, concerned that conquerors would end this practice, used his knowledge of astronomy to create a calendar that would last until the Messiah comes.

Hillel’s calendar is remarkably accurate. Rosh Hashanah, for example, is calculated to start when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned so that the sun shines on a new moon, an event called molad of Tishrei. This arrangement also affects when other holidays fall, with the result that Passover rarely begins on Shabbat.

Now for that doughnut recipe, from To Serve with Love, a cookbook my mother helped our Temple publish in the 1960s. I can only imagine the meeting that came up with this name!




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