Chametz: any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and "rise." You can't eat any chametz during the Jewish holiday of Passover, which means everything from bread to pasta to beer is strictly verboten for eight whole days, starting tonight.

In some Hasidic communities, chametz is set on fire before the first Seder. The burning symbolizes not only the physical destruction of the bread (bye, beautiful bread), but something spiritual as well. The ritual, dubbed biur chametz, took place today all over New York City and beyond; we visited one at a small synagogue in Crown Heights to get a first-hand look.