Pesach (Passover) - A Celebration of the Exodus

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The most well-known of all Jewish holidays is undoubtedly Passover. This holiday occurs in the spring, in either April or March, and runs over the course of eight days. Even Jews who do not celebrate other holidays or regularly attend a synagogue celebrate this holiday. Like some other Jewish holidays, such as Sukkot, Passover or Pesach, its Hebrew name, has two meanings to the Jewish people. On one hand, this holiday marks the start of growing season in Israel. On the other hand, it has a great historical significance. In this article, you will learn about the story behind Pesach (Passover) and how the holiday is commonly celebrated.

The historical significance of Pesach (Passover) is that it commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt after they were enslaved from hundreds of years. The reason the holiday is translated into English as Passover is because of how when G-d was slaying all of the firstborn in Egypt, he “passed over” each and every Jewish household. Pesach is not only the name of the holiday, but also the name of the lamb that used to be sacrificed in the Temple on this holiday.

It is custom on the first night of Pesach (Passover) for Jewish People to clean their houses of the five grains, known as “chametz.” The five major grains are spelt, wheat, oats, barley, and rye. This has two symbolic meanings. One is to show commemorate the Exodus since the Jews who fled from Egypt did not have time to wait for the rising of their bread. The other symbolic meaning relates to cleaning one’s self. This is why Jewish people enjoy Matzah on Passover. Matzah is made of flour and water. This was the kind of bread eaten by the Jews who left Egypt. There are many recipes for Matzah that are used on this special holiday.

It is common for people who were not brought up in the Jewish tradition to think of Pesach (Passover) as a solemn time. This is not the case. Because Passover celebrates the Exodus, it is supposed to be a time of celebration and freedom. If you ever get the chance to attend a Passover Seder, you will amazed by how joyous the music is. The Seder occurs on the first two nights of Passover. If you’re interested in learning more about Passover, Seder, and the Haggadah, a book to be read aloud during the Seder, you can contact a rabbi in your area or choose from the variety of online resources.

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Posted by on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010. Filed under Jewish Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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