The Passover (Pesach) festival commemorates the Hebrews’ escape from enslavement in Egypt. Pesach begins on the 15th day of the month of Nissan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar. In the story of the Exodus, the Torah tells us that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Hebrew slaves. The tenth plague was the killing of all of the firstborn, from Pharaoh’s son to the firstborn of cattle. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term “Passover.” When Pharaoh freed the Hebrews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread.” Matzah (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday. Passover is one of the three festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.