Preparations are underway across the world among Jewish communities to celebrate the holiday and festival of Passover, commemorating the story of Exodus or the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt as described in the Hebrew Bible.
As the story goes, God helped the Israelites escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues or ten calamities upon the Egyptians. When the Egyptian Pharaoh finally released the Children of Israel, they left the land in such a hurry that they couldn't wait for the bread dough to rise or leaven. This, supposedly, is the reason why the Matzo or the flat unleavened bread is symbolic of the holiday known as the The festival of the Unleavened Bread.
Matzo is prepared using flour and water, which is never allowed to rest, with the baker continually working on the dough right from mixing until baking.
The flat bread serves as a symbol to remind Jews of the impoverished conditions of a slave and to promote humility, appreciate freedom, and avoid the inflated ego symbolized by more luxurious leavened bread.
Click on 'Start' to view the slideshow of images of Israelis preparing Matzo for the festival set to begin April 6.