The Jewish holiday of Passover
Passover is one of the blessed and widely exercised holidays of the Jewish religion. It honors the biblical account of exodus, when the Israelites were freed from slavery in antique Egypt. This holiday normally starts on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, as well as culminates on 22nd day of the same month (McCarver 85).
Historical Background of the Passover
Prior to their relief from slavery, the Israelites had been pushed to migrate to Egypt because of acute famine that had hit their fatherland Canaan. When they were living in Egypt, the Israelites were exposed to bondage by the pharaohs for numerous decades. In order to rescue the troubled Israelites, God sent Moses to the Pharaoh with a message directing the release of the Israelites from bondage so that they can work for Him as their God (Dewberry 21). Pharaoh did not heed the God’s directive, in spite of several forewarnings he received. God respond by unleashing ten detrimental plagues on the Egyptians to break the pharaoh’s stubbornness. The tenth plague entailed killing of every first-born son in the land of Egypt by a revenging angel. On the Israelites side, God told Moses that they had to mark the doorframes of their homesteads with a lamb’s blood to make it easy for the revenging angel to acknowledge them and “pass over” each Jewish household (Dewberry 21-22). In the midnight of 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, the avenging angel slayed all Egyptian firstborns whilst letting those of Israel decent live by ‘passing over” their households, hence the holiday’s name. This action broke Pharaoh’s opposition, who followed the suit by directing Moses to bring together Israelites and hastily depart Egypt. The Israelites left hastily that they could not even carry the bread they had made for the holiday. From that moment, the Passover holiday has been a festivity of freedom by the adherents of the Judaic religion.
The Passover Observances
The Passover is grouped into two, with first part occurring in the first two days (Seder) of the holiday and the second part in the course of its last two days (Ellwood and Alles 335). Prior to the start of the holiday, all attentive Jews are needed to get rid of all leavened commodities (chametz) from their households as well as desist from them for the whole holiday period. Nevertheless, it is wise to feed on flat bread known as matzah or matzo to suggest the antique escape from Egypt in a haste, where the bread that they were to feed on their journey had not time to rise. In the course of the first two days of the holiday, Judaism adherents normally held a service known as the Passover Seder at their homesteads together with their families and associates. This service incorporates dinner and it is conducted using a book known as the Haggadah, a Hebrew word meaning, “telling the truth”. While the word “Seder” infers “order” in Hebrew, the Passover Seder ceremonial service is made up of 15 orderly parts that rotate around in the imminent dinner. Nevertheless, some homesteads may concentrate on Passover meal, rather than all the 15 guidelines of Passover Seder. Food has for many years has been an imperative facet of the Passover festival.
The chief events conducted in the course of Passover Seder ceremonial service incorporate consumption of the matzah (a flat, unleavened bread), which signifies the old escape from bondage in Egypt hastily that the bread prepared to sustain them on the journey has not risen. They as well eat bitter herbs to honor the hard times that the Israelites went through when serving as slaves in Egypt. The followers of the Seder service have to drink four cups of wine or grape juice to commemorate their fresh liberty. The recital of the Haggadah is the other vital facet of the Passover Seder service, and includes offering an informative explanation of the Exodus account of the Israelites from Egypt (Buxbaum 50). It is seen as gratification of the biblical duty that demanded the Israelites to remember the exodus account (Maggid) on the night of the Passover to their young ones.
The final two days of the holiday honor the miracle of the splitting of the red sea that made a way for the Israelites as they escaped after being pursued by the Pharaoh’s soldiers focusing on enslaving them once more. When the Israelites reached the dry land between the split red seas, the pharaoh army was stuck and drowned the moment the waters recollected. These two day are thus celebrated to mark the redemption of the Jews. Whereas individuals are not authorized to undertake these routines in the course of the first two days and the last ones, they are permitted to undertake certain tasks in the course of the four days between the two Passover parts.
The Passover adherence will go on being a crucial element of Judaism as it supporters have gone on to pass this custom to their generations as a biblical duty. Adherents of Judaism have faith that the Passover rituals were well destined to make sure that stay as a long-lasting recount of God’s liberation of his children from the Egyptian slavery that was quite miserable.
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Buxbaum, Yitzhak. Storytelling and Spirituality in Judaism. Lanham: Jason Aronson, Inc, 1994. Print.
Dewberry, William Edward. The Story of Faith, Hope, and Love.Bloomington: Author House, 2013. Print.
Ellwood, Robert S, and Gregory D. Alles. The Encyclopedia of World Religions. New York: Facts on File, 2007. Print.
McCarver, Ken. The Sabbath: A Journey of Discovery. Bloomington,West Bow Press, 2012. Print.