Passover is a Jewish holiday that occurs in the spring. It celebrates the Exodus from Egypt as told in the eponymous book of the Torah. In a nutshell, Moses came to the Pharaoh and asked if he, Moses, could take the Israelites out into the desert to teach them about his god. The Pharaoh said no, and Moses, with divine intervention, brought 10 plagues upon the Pharaoh and his people. At this point, Moses demanded that Pharaoh let the Israelites go, and the Pharaoh agreed. Because the Israelites werent expecting the 10th time to go any differently than the 9 previous requests, they sort of blew Moses off and started baking bread (because what else does one do while there is pestilence, frogs, blood, and a host of other plagues plaguing your neighbors?). Because the Israelites were surprised by the Pharaohs sudden acquiescence to Moses demand to let his people go, the bread they were baking did not have time to rise, and they had to flee with unleavened bread. Each year since the Exodus, Jews have celebrated their redemption from bondage by observing Passover. As part of the preparation for the holiday, observant Jews clean their house of all foods that are not kosher for Passover (that is, foods that contain proscribed items such as wheat, barley, and beans). Once the house is completely clean of leavened foods, several pieces of bread are hidden around the house (because the house is cleanmost likely from where the idea of spring cleaning comesthe pieces of bread are usually wrapped in foil or a bag). The children then search the house with a candle (to look in every crevice) to find any last pieces of leavened food that might still be around. Once these pieces of hidden bread are found and collected, they are burned to symbolize the complete destruction of the leavened food, and a special prayer is said that states that if, even after the cleaning and the searching, any leavened bread is still left in the house, the cleaners have done due diligence to find every crumb. As I walked through Meah Shearim in Jerusalem on the Friday before the Passover holiday began, I saw the hustle-bustle of families buying last-minute items for their seders (the liturgical meal that every observant Jew in the world performs every Passover); saw women sweeping their stoops, patios, and balconies; and young children performing the ritual of burning the leavened food.