SHAFAQNA | Zahra Asadian : The Jews of Iran celebrated Feast of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) to commemorate the departure of Bani Israel from the land of Egypt; However, this year, as last year, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, they refused to participate in mass worship ceremonies in synagogues and celebrated this historic religious holiday in their homes by reciting special prayers and worships.
According to the Shafaqna, the Feast of Passover (Pesach) is one of the most important holidays in the Hebrew calendar; For the Jews, it is a memorial to the miracles that God performed for Bani Israel under the leadership of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and saved them from the slavery of the Egyptians.
This important feast of the Jews, which is held for 8 days, this year coincided with the Mid-Sha’ban and the birth of anniversary of Imam Mahdi (A.J), the Easter of the Armenian community and the celebration of Farvardin in 1400, and so coincided with the feasts of the followers of monotheistic religions in Iran.
In an interview with Shafaqna, Bijan Khakshour, an expert on Jewish culture and religion and a member of the Isfahan Jewish Association says: “In early spring, which coincides with the Month of Nisan, the Jews go to two trees that have different blossoms and thank nature by reciting poetry, praying and giving alms, and ask God for a blessed year for mankind.”
The expert on Jewish culture and religion, referring to the antiquity of Jewish residence in Iran, states: “During the Feast of Passover (Pesach), Jews have a custom to go to visit each other, and among Iranian Jews around the world, this visitation ceremony is one of the principles of the Feast of Passover (Pesach) which is considered to be the same as visiting in Nowruz. Iranian Jews have lived in this land for centuries, and the exchange of customs has taken place throughout this history of peaceful coexistence”.
He adds: “At the end of the eight days of “Passover”, the Eastern Jews especially the Iranians, celebrate the day of “Garden”, which is exactly same as Iranian Sizdah Be-dar. For Garden Day, Iranian Jewish women cook dishes such as Kuku Sabzi, Ash Reshteh (Persian Greens, Bean and Noodle Soup), Jewish chickpea dumplings that are similar to Kufteh Tabrizi (Tabriz dumplings) and Koofteh Berenji (Persian Meatballs with Rice, rice dumplings).
The custom of cooking all kinds of pilafs and their side dishes and kebabs for “Garden” day is the same as the Iranian Sizdah Be-dar arrangements, and in fact, Iranian Jews, especially in Iran, celebrate Nature Day twice a year; Once on the historical religious festival of Passover and once on the day of Iranian nature day (Iranian Sizdah Be-dar), which, of course, over the past two years during these two festivals, due to the spread of Corona, visiting and mass worships and the Garden day, have been held in a simpler way against the inner desire of the people and perforce.
Photos are related to the Feast of Passover in the past years by the Jews of Isfahan.