What Does "Kosher For Passover" Mean? Here's What You Need To Know

Passover begins on Friday, which means your diet may be changing a bit for the week if you're celebrating. So what does going "kosher for Passover" mean for the average Jewish person? And why exactly do people bother with it at all? It might seem complicated, but I'm here to help you sort it out.

First, for those who might be wondering, Passover celebrates the Israelites' freedom from Egypt. If you are celebrating Passover this year, it's probably a good idea to read up on the holiday's backstory. Even if you don't partake in the holiday, it's important to know what's going on in the world around you. Once you've given that a once over, then it's time to get into the details of what it means to eat kosher during the week of Passover.

Despite what you may know about kosher foods in general, the definition changes a bit when it comes to Passover. Whether you're celebrating the holiday this year, or you just simply want to be in the know, check out these guidelines below for going kosher. What you read might surprise you... or it might reaffirm everything you already thought to be true. Either way, knowledge is knowledge.

Some Jewish people always eat kosher.

Most of us know that some Jewish people practice kosher eating in their day to day lives, regardless of Passover. The exact rules of kosher eating come from the Torah. Kosher Jews can only eat animals that "chew their cud," meaning that they must spit up their food and chew it again. They also cannot eat animals that have split hooves (say goodbye to bacon, sausage, and anything else that comes from a pig). They can only eat seafood that has fins and scales, leaving out crustaceans and the like. Finally, milk products and meat cannot be mixed, hence why so many of your Jewish friends won't eat cheeseburgers.

There are large variances in how people eat kosher.

Like any religion, how seriously the rules and regulations are taken come down to the individual. While most Orthodox Jews will stick to the kosher diet rules, many Reform Jews will not. It really depends on what the individual is comfortable doing, as well as what kosher guidelines he or she was raised obeying.

There are special rules for eating kosher during Passover.

Now that you get the gist of being kosher in general, it's important to note that when you hear about people being kosher for Passover, they may be referring to something totally different. More often than not, they are usually referring to the fact that they're not going to eat leavened bread for the duration. The reasoning behind this is that when the Israelites were freed from Ancient Egypt, they left in such a hurry that they didn't even have time to wait for their bread to rise.

So, there you have it — the rules behind eating kosher for Passover. See? I told you they aren't that difficult to figure out, and now you can walk into your seder a little bit smarter. Happy Passover!

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