‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Celebrates Passover: ‘Beautiful Tradition’

by Emily Morgan

Saturday marked the beginning of the eight-day religious festival known as Passover, and one legendary actor made it known that he was celebrating. The annual holiday, which commemorates the liberation of the Jews from slavery, begins this year on Mar. 27th and lasts until Apr. 4th.

Henry Winkler, known for his iconic role as Fonzie on “Happy Days,” took to Twitter to comment on another TV icons’ Passover meal.

On Twitter, he responded to CNN’s Jake Tapper’s image that he shared on social media. In the photo, Tapper showed off his seder table and his plate that included various traditional foods. In response, Winkler wrote, “a beautiful plate and beautiful tradition.”

A typical Passover Seder plate includes six foods. Many people will eat Karpas, a green vegetable like parsley that symbolizes the Israelites’ initial flourishing in Egypt and the new spring.

Details Behind a Passover Plate

They’ll also eat Charoset, which is a fruit mixture made with wine, honey or nuts. This represents the mortar that the Israelite slaves used to construct buildings.

In addition, there is also Maror. It’s a bitter herb, often horseradish, to represent the bitterness of slavery. Then there’s Chazeret, which is a second bitter herb, often romaine. Z’roa is also on the menu. It’s a roasted lamb shank bone to symbolize the lamb that the Jews sacrificed in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Beitzah is a roasted or hard-boiled egg that symbolizes the sacrifice, known as “hagigah.”Finally, Jewish families would also serve three pieces of matzah and a container of salt water or vinegar.

However, some foods you should refrain from eating if you’re taking part in Passover.

During Passover, observers are basically on a gluten-free diet and have to avoid all unleavened bread. However, it can be difficult to tell which foods are and aren’t kosher for Passover. It can be elusive when it comes to items like rice, corn, beans, and oatmeal. As it turns out, the answers vary and depend on a person’s ancestry.

Since the 13th century, Ashkenazi Jews have historically avoided rice, beans, corn, lentils, and edamame at Passover, according to Rabbi Amy Levin during an interview with NPR in 2016.

Levin added that some would mix rice and legumes with wheat — which is avoided during Passover unless it’s in its unleavened form.

However, Passover’s traditions have ebbed and flowed since the 13th century. In 2015, the Rabbinical Assembly, an international group of rabbis, ruled that people could eat rice, corn, beans, popcorn, and other previously banned items at Passover.