Five Senses for Four Names of Passover
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Five Senses for Four Names of Passover

Categories Passover (Pesach) 

Lesson Summary:

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Experience Pesach through an exploration of different aspects of the four names of the holiday.
Plan includes matzah making instructions, and station signs for an immersive Passover classroom experience using all five senses.


Students will be able to:

  • Recite the four names of Pesach 

  • Explain the significance of each of Pesach’s four names 

  • Relate the meaning of Pesach’s names to the five senses

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

During the holiday of Pesach, we commemorate different aspects of Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus from Egypt). These different aspects of commemoration are apparent in the different names that the holiday is given.

Pesach (Passover) – God pasach (passed over) the homes of B’nei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) as God hit the Egyptians with the plague of the Death of the Firstborn (Shemot (Exodus) 12:27).

Chag HaMatzot (The Holiday of Unleavened Bread) – B’nei Yisrael ate matzah when they left Egypt because they did not have time to let their dough rise. God commanded us to eat matzah during the holiday in order to remember this time (Shemot 12:16, et al.). There is also a tradition that we ate matzah on Pesach to commemorate that B’nei Yisrael ate matzah while enslaved in Egypt because matzah is a poor person’s bread (e.g. Ramban* on Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:2). However, the Maharal** (Gevuros Hashem 51) points out that this tradition does not make sense because the Torah specifically states that the reason for eating matzah on Pesach is that B’nei Yisrael left in haste (Devarim 16:3).

Chag HaAviv (The Spring Holiday) – We read in the Torah that God took B’nei Yisrael out of Egypt during the spring. We also read that B’nei Yisrael should commemorate the holiday during the spring (Shemot 13:4-5).

Zeman Cheiruteinu (The Time of Our Freedom) – The holiday commemorates when God took us out of slavery in Egypt and brought us into a state of freedom (Shemot 13:14)

*The Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman) was a prominent 13th-century commentator on the Bible, Talmud, and philosophy. He is also well known for his successful argumentation during the Disputation of Barcelona in 1263.

**The Maharal (Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel) was a prominent 16th-century mystic and Talmud scholar in Prague. There is a later Jewish legend that he created the Golem of Prague to defend his community.

Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago’s Online Resource Center
Lead Author: Rabbi Eric Zaff

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