Searching for Chametz, Frankfurt

Frankfurt

​This postcard, designed by Hermann Junker, illustrates the search for chametz on the eve of Pesach in a Jewish household in Germany. A lit candlestick can be seen on the table, and the family is also using a candle to search for chametz. On the right of the illustration is a caption in German which reads: “The Easter Festival, search for chametz, (getting rid of….. It seems that the word Osterfest (Easter festival) was used interchangeably in German culture for both Easter and Passover. Would You Like to Know More? Bedikat Chametz - Bedikat Chametz is the tradition of searching the house for chametz (leaven) that may have be forgotten and removing it before the start of the festival. The ceremonial search is performed by candlelight on the night before the Seder. Any chametz found is burnt the following day, traditionally in a bonfire, and any chametz not found is considered as "the dust of the earth."​Jewish Community of Frankfurt - Jews have been living in Frankfurt since the middle of the twelfth century, longer than any other German city. Frankfurt became a center for European Jews. It was a very wealthy community, hosting a number of important yeshivas and producing many leading figures.

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Teaching Suggestions

​This postcard could be used in Jewish Studies lessons to explain about the eve of Pesach and Bedikat Chametz. Students could compare this postcard to their own experiences. It could be used alongside other resources that illustrate the search for chametz.

Discussion Points

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