The Meaning of Passover (Monday, 3.25.13)

March 25, 2013

The Meaning of Passover…


Passover begins today at sunset and is an eight-day celebration that commemorates the freedom of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.  But here’s more of the story…

After decades of slavery to Egyptian pharaohs, God helped the Israelites escape by sending ten plagues to Egypt.  At the stroke of midnight, the tenth plague killed every first-born Egyptian, but God spared the children of Israel by passing over their homes—hence the name for the holiday.  Pharaoh finally relented and virtually chased  600,000 Israelites out of the land.  In fact, they left in such a hurry, the bread they baked didn’t have time to rise or leaven before they made the trek back to Israel. Originally, the unleavened bread was tossed into baskets and baked by the sun, resulting in a flatbread or cracker.  Now, those who adhere to Jewish dietary laws rid their homes of all leavened bread, called chametz, before Passover begins. Passover is divided into two parts.  The first two days and last two days are full-fledged holidays, while the  “intermediate days,” called chol hamoed, are semi-festive and work is permitted.

Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy Passover!

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