Pesach (or Passover) is one of three Jewish holidays that began as harvest festivals, evolved into pilgrimage holidays during the Second Temple period, and are now celebrated in the home as well as in synagogue. In a commentary he is writing for congregations that use the triennial cycle for Torah reading Brooklyn resident Larry Magarik writes:
Passover was originally a fellowship meal of a spring lamb, and a parallel festival of unleavened bread. These were combined and linked to the narrative of the exodus from Egypt. The Torah reflects this earlier version of Passover when it sets forth a ritual calendar beginning with the 1st, selection of a lamb on the 10th, slaughter on the 14th, eating on the 15th, and use of matzah through the 21st, days of the month of Nisan. The Passover ritual was originally home-based. During the Babylonian Exile (500s BCE), the prophet Ezekiel advocated a centralized celebration of Passover, focused on the Prince and Priests in a restored Temple. In fact, during Second Temple times, Passover did change from a family rite to a centralized national celebration in Jerusalem. After the Temple’s destruction in 70 CE, the rabbis transformed Passover back into a home-based educational seminar about theholiday. The Haggadah passage Yachol mey-Rosh Chodesh thus explains that the telling of the exodus story does not follow the Biblical sacrificial schedule (1st-10th-14th of the month), but is (now) appropriately conducted at the Seder on the 15th of Nisan, when Matzah and Maror (but no longer the Paschal lamb) are present.
The Passover seder as we know it today evolved in the rabbinic period after the destruction of the Second Temple modeled on Greco-Roman drinking parties. It is for many Jews their earliest exposure to rabbinic commentary. The exodus narrative in the Haggadah does not quote the relevant chapters at the end of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus at length but rather the synopsis of these chapters in Deuteronomy 26:5-8 and its rabbinic commentary. Because such commentary is above the heads of little children a game of finding a hidden piece of matzah known as the afikomen is included as is singing holiday songs. In contemporary seders the festival of freedom may include supplementary readingsreminding us that in the recent past and in the world today there are people who still do not enjoy freedom, human rights, and basic dignity.
Wherever and however you celebrate I wish you a sweet Pesach as kosher as you want it to be.