Matza Matza Matza!

October 10th 2011

Celebrating Passover in Israel can be a deeply meaningful experience for religious Jews. There are a number of Passover-related holidays that fill the spring months with religious and historical observances. Those coming to Israel for tourism and shopping should take note that many businesses are closed during these holidays and many Israelis choose this time to go on vacation. If you are interested in celebrating the religious aspect of the holidays, what Israel tours have to offer in April 2012 will get you there at the perfect time.

Sefirat Ha’omer marks the start of the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. The verbal counting of the days is meant to show mental and spiritual preparation for the giving of the Torah, about the same time as Shavuot. The whole period is treated as a time of semi-mourning, with various restrictions put into place. Lag Ba’omer, the 33rd day, is the day for those restrictions to be lifted, in remembrance of the celebration of the end of a plague.

If you’re traveling with your family, a lot of Israeli attractions offer special children’s activities during the Passover period.  Megiddo, in Galilee, is just a few hours from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and has 25 buried cities. In eastern Jezreel, the Beit Alfa synagogue has a mosaic floor that is interesting to young and old alike. There is also a film about the creation of the mosaic. In warm weather, you can enjoy the springs at Gan Hashlosha and end the day in Tiberias with an outdoor fish dinner by the lake.

Although the Passover time in Israel can be slower in some areas, it’s a wonderful opportunity for families who are interested in exploring their heritage and religion.