This Wednesday, Jews throughout the world begin the celebration of Passover, the commemoration of the Jew's deliverance from Egyptian slavery more than 3,000 years ago.
At sunset Wednesday, Jewish families will gather to take part in the Passover seder, a ritual recounting the Hebrews exodus from Egypt, during a meal consisting of symbolic foods.
The purpose of the seder is to teach each new generation of the events leading to the exodus, which fathers explain when the youngest child asks the first of the traditional four questions: "Why is this night different from all other nights?"
The word Passover refers to the Angel of Death's passing over Jewish homes on his way to slay the first-born son of Egyptian families. This was God's final plague on Egypt before pharoah allowed the Jews to leave.
Jews eat only unleavened bread during the eight days of passover (Reform Jews observe seven days) as did the Jews Fleeing Egypt, who in their haste, could not wait for the bread to rise.
A traditional seder consists of eight dishes including matzoh (unleavened bread), something bitter such as horseradish (symbolizing the bitterness of slavery), a roast egg (symbolizing life), and a roasted shankbone (representing the paschal lamb).
During Passover week, observant Jews will eat from dishes and Utensils used only at Passover and abstain from certain foods.