The Biblical holiday of Passover (Pessah in Hebrew) begins tomorrow night at sunset.
In keeping with the sentiment of this cartoon from 1995, we'll take a break from politics and spend the next few days examining this holiday, its rituals, and its meaning.
Prior to the start of the holiday, during which Jews may not eat leavened bread (in Hebrew, Chametz or Hametz), our homes are cleaned and all leavened bread is removed. On the night before the first night of Passover, observant Jews do a symbolic search of their homes for any remaining crumbs of the forbidden food.
The family searches by candlelight, the father carries a little cup or dustpan into which the crumbs are swept with a feather or little broom. This search is called (in Hebrew) Bedikat Hametz. Later the Hametz will be burned.
Searching for Hametz 1886