"Cmdr. Sam Westock lights candles during 2012 Passover ceremony
aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea."
According to JewFaq, “Passover is the remembrance of the Exodus, or departure, of Hebrew slaves from Egypt thousands of years ago. During the 7-8 days of Passover, which is simply English for the Hebrew Pesach, Jewish families deep clean their homes, retell this story of their heritage, enjoy a ceremonial family meal called seder together, and abstain from consuming leavened grain products and related foods.” When you have to evacuate a foreign country in a hurry, there’s simply no time for bread to rise. This was the plight of the Hebrew women leaving Egypt in those days. In contrast, matzoh is a quick and easy, unleavened flatbread of flour and water. The absence of leavening agents in the diet encourages humility, or deflating self-importance.
Veganism, or not consuming animal products and byproducts, seems a strategic and natural choice, since it would seem to make the Kosher laws about dairy and meat cookery and consumption a non-issue. However, there are special Kosher laws for Passover that still apply to vegans. The first caution is no “wheat, barley, oats, rye or spelt. Ashkenazic Orthodox Jews also pass on rice, corn, peanuts, legumes (beans) and other foods.” Vegans don’t eat honey, an ingredient in charoset, a symbolic dish made with nuts, apples and wine. But agave nectar is a handy honey substitute, easy to find in major discount grocers. Vegan wines must be marked with P, which means “Kosher for Passover.” Despite all these do’s and don’ts, there are still many delicious vegan Passover recipes for Pesach Seder.