A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 4/7/17
You may think that there are only one or two ways to greet someone for the festival beginning this Monday night, but it turns out that you actually have many options. If you wish to stick with English, you cannot go wrong wishing someone Happy Passover. Or you can use a combination of English and Hebrew by saying Happy Pesach.
For those who venture into Hebrew only, Chag Sameach (happy festival) covers all the bases. You can even get more specific by wishing someone Chag Pesach Sameach (happy Passover festival). A variation of this greeting is the shortened Pesach Sameach.
The proper salutation during the festival for someone who strictly follows the dietary laws of Passover is to express: Chag Kasher V’Sameach (may you have a kosher and happy festival). Some reverse the order by saying Chag Sameach V’Kasher. In either case, make sure you pronounce the “ch” in Chag. You don’t want to wish someone a Happy and Kosher Hog!
For those of us from an Eastern European background, Yiddish can be a wonderfully expressive way of greeting someone during the festival. Wishing someone Ah Zissen Pesach – a sweet Passover – reminds us of the essence of this beloved holiday.
To gather with family and friends to celebrate our festival of freedom is the height of sweetness and joy. May you be blessed with a sweet, happy, and meaningful Passover.