How to Greet Jewish Friends at Passover
29 SEP 2017
On Passover -- or Pesach -- Jews commemorate their liberation from Egyptian slavery, and the birth of the Jewish nation. The holiday lasts for eight days in the United States and begins with a meal and ceremony known as the Passover seder. If you have neighbors, friends or coworkers who celebrate Passover, simple holiday greetings are in order.
1 Timing Is Everything
Jews celebrate Passover in the spring. The holiday begins on the night of the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan and lasts for eight days, concluding on the 22nd day of Nissan. Your best bet is to consult a calendar that clearly marks the beginning and end of the holiday in a given year. Keep in mind the Jewish calendar date begins at sundown, so Passover begins at sundown the night before the secular start date marked in a secular calendar. The holiday ends at nightfall on the secular end date.
2 Keep It Simple
Your greeting can be short and simple. "Happy Passover, Josh" does the trick. If you want to flex your Hebrew language muscles, try "Happy Pesach." The first syllable sounds like "pay" and the second syllable rymes with the throaty German pronounciation of "Bach." You might hear Jews greet one another with the Hebrew expression "Chag kasher v'sameyach," which means have a happy and kosher holiday, but it's perfectly acceptable to greet your friends in English. You might notice your Jewish friends or workmates observe more restrictions on certain days of Passover. The first two and last two days of the holiday are similar to the Sabbath and more restrictions apply. You can use the same general greeting throughout the holiday. Bear in mind, if you're in touch via email or if you leave a text message or voicemail, your friend might be unable to respond to your greeting until after the holiday.