Pesach, Mea-Shearim Style (5 Awesome Photos)

Pesach, Mea-Shearim Style (5 Awesome Photos)

These photos appear in the book Hassidic Courts by Gil Cohen Magen, a secular Haaretz photographer who has spent a decade photographing the Charedi world. In the captions, I write my thoughts on the photos…

Buying potatoes Erev Pesach. At first I hated this photo, and wasn't going to include it in this post. I thought it made getting ready for Pesach look really depressing.
But then I realized that this photo is Yetsiat Mitsraim 2012, what the Exodus from Egypt would have looked like TODAY! So now davka this photo is my favorite one of all. Because, I think, even though we JewishMOMs really should try to make Erev Pesach as positive an experience as possible for ourselves and our families, the truth is that the great joy we feel on Pesach itself is a direct result of the tough work and stress we inevitably experience before the Seder.
In other words, I think to feel so joyful and flying with the angels on seder night, we need to feel a microscopic taste of enslavement before the seder (just like the boy in this photo. Too bad we can't take a photo of him smiling and sitting like a prince on seder night).

Making matzot before Pesach. My husband goes to a factory like this every year to make matzot with an elderly Yerushalmi rabbi from our community. He always comes home with A LOT of stories to tell.

At first all I saw in this photo was steam, but if you look closely you can see the Chassid behind the cloud of steam as he makes his utensils kosher for Passover by immersing them in a huge vat of boiling water (called Hagalat Kelim). I love this photo, because it looks so otherworldly. It reminds me of the spiritual power behind the multitude of physical preparations for the spiritual peak of the year, seder night.

A Chassidic rebbe searching for Chametz during Bedikat Chametz. So regal. Loved this.

Srefat chametz. If these boys weren't frum, maybe they'd be playing video games for fun, or watching TV, or surfing the internet. But for these boys, one of the funnest, most exciting highlights of their year is watching the fires that burn the remaining leaven the day before the Seder. Isn't that awesome?

Chag Kasher v’Sameach, JewishMOMs!


  1. I loved these:) thanks for posting!

  2. It’s beautiful, yes. CHAVAL that the fotographer didn’t (or couldn’t) take pictures of the women and girls getting ready for Pesach…

    • JewishMom

      there are actually a lot of photos of women and girls in this great book, I’m hoping they’ll agree for me to publish those as well…

  3. Unbelievable. Last year we were in Israel for pesach. It was amazing! Wish we were there now.

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