Hebrew for Passover 101

Here are some Hebrew words specifically for Passover, or Pesach as it's called in Hebrew. Passover is a spring festival when Jews celebrate freedom, remembering slavery under an Egyptian pharoah.

Jews avoid eating normal bread and other leavened foods because the Jews fleeing Egypt made bread for the escape but didn't have time for it to rise before leaving, so it baked in the hot sun and became hard like crackers.

So for Pesach, Jews eat matzah — a cracker-like bread that's carefully made to avoid any chance to rise like bread.

Let's practice reading Passover Hebrew words!

Passover in Hebrew is written like this...

פֵּסַח (audio) or Pesach.

How do you say happy Passover in Hebrew?

In English it's just fine to say "happy Passover" but you can also try one of these phrases:

  1. The most correct way is almost a direct translation: פֵּסַח שַׂמֵחַ (audio) or Pesach sameach.
  2. Another way to say Happy Pesach is chag Pesach sameach חַג פֵּסַח שַׂמֵחַ (audio) which means "happy holiday of Pesach." Technically a chag is only one of the high holidays like Rosh Hashanah, but it's still something people say.
  3. Wish someone a "happy, kosher holiday" if you want to sound like you really know your stuff! חַג כָּשֵׁר וְשָׂמֵחַ (audio) chag kasher ve'sameach: because eating "kosher for Pesach" means the extra work of avoiding things like bread and many other foods.
  4. What about that flatbread--matzah? מַצָה (audio) matsah: It's amazing what foods you can make with matzah, but it does get a little tiring after eight days straight!