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Pesach 2019: How do you wish someone a happy Passover in Hebrew?


Matzoh and red sweet wine (Credits: Getty Images)

Millions of Jewish people across the world will be marking the start of the Passover festival on Wednesday – although this year it’s set to be very different.

The festival, also known as Pesach, marks one of the most significant dates in the Jewish calendar, telling the story of the Exodus – when Moses freed the Israelites from the bonds of slavery in Egypt.

While the festival is normally a time for families to get together over the traditional Seder service, conducted in homes on the first two nights, this year will see people having to conduct the services with only those in their household – or even alone – as the coronavirus lockdown continues.

Despite the circumstances, you can expect the community to still mark the occasion – with rabbis having given permission for families to hold services together via Zoom, provided it is activated before the start of the Seder (after which time use of such technology is prohibited).

And you can still send Passover greetings to your Jewish friends – but what’s the standard greeting for someone marking the festival?

How do you wish someone a happy Passover in Hebrew?

If you want to send someone greetings for Passover, there are a number of ways you can go about it.

The most traditional of these is to say ‘chag sameach’, a standard, all-purpose Hebrew greeting which you can apply to any Jewish festival – it simply means ‘happy holiday’.

To translate, ‘Chag’ means Jewish holiday, while ‘sameach’ means happy, derived from the Hebrew word ‘simcha’ which means celebration (a word often used by Jewish people in conjunction with Barmitzvah and Batmitzvah parties as well as weddings and other significant parties).

If you want to jazz it up a little, you could also use the greeting ‘chag Pesach sameach’ (Pesach being the Hebrew word for Passover) – or go one better and say ‘chag Pesach kasher vesame’ach’ (‘have a happy and kosher Passover’).

The Seder may be a little different this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Another popular greeting is ‘good Yom Tov’ another standard greeting for festivals.

However this would apply only to the first two days and last two days of Passover, as Yom Tov – a term meaning ‘festival day’ – refers only to specific festival days on which work and other activities are forbidden.

MORE: Why are Jewish people not allowed to eat bread and certain other foods on Passover?

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