Theresa Villiers has issued the following Passover message to her constituents:
"I would like to send my best wishes to all those celebrating Passover this week. It is sad that the coronavirus crisis means that families cannot come together for Passover in the way they normally would. It must also be upsetting that the Jewish community cannot gather in their local synagogue for this important annual festival.
I very much hope that my Jewish constituents can still mark this special festival, even if social distancing rules means that this will have to happen differently from a normal Passover.
I would like to wish Chag Pesach Sameach to everyone who will be celebrating Passover from home this year. Happy Passover!”
Passover commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is traditionally observed by a special meal, or Seder, on the first night of the festival during which a number of symbolic foods are eaten.
The word Passover means 'pasach' in Hebrew which means to 'jump over,' or 'skip over.' It refers to the Biblical tenth plague, during which the angel of death skipped over the homes of the Jewish people in Egypt and spared them from the plague which killed the first born male children of Egyptians.