If you are asking about the meaning of Passover and what it is all about, why the Jewish people celebrate this kind of Festival, how to observe the Passover festival, and all the things you need to know about the Passover festival, this article will give you all of the answers to your questions and many more.
Pesach is the Hebrew term for the word Passover. The Passover festival is a kind of festival that commemorates the Jewish people exodus from being the slaves in the land of the old Egypt. You can observe the Passover festival in Israel for 7 days and in Diaspora for about eight days. The Jewish people are celebrating this Passover festival from the day 15 up to day 20 of the Nissan, which is a Hebrew month. The Hebrew word of Passover, which is the Pesach, literally refers to the time when the Lord God passed over the Jewish people’s home during the time He sent the several plagues, which kill all the Egyptians that are first born. Furthermore, the Hebrew term Pesach also refers to the Paschal Lamb which is considered as the old Passover of the Jewish people.
Through removing all the leaven or the chametz, eating of Matzah by the Jewish people, having the Feast of Seder and reciting the prayers of the particular words for the prayers of the said festival. The Feasts of Seder is being conducted during the nightfall of the first night of the Passover Festival in the land of Israel and for the first two nights of celebrating the Passover Festival in the land of Diaspora.
Retelling the Exodus story that is based on Haggadah, the Afikoman, singing all the ancient prayers, commemorate the symbol of the Seder Feast, drink for about three to four glasses of wine and many more.
The Passover Festival is considered as forbidden because the Jewish people are in need to have their own things and to eat any products that are leavened such as pasta, pizza, cake, bread and many more. It is considered the Chametz as a prohibited doing for it is the haste of the Jewish people to have insufficient time to make them wait for the foods they have prepared because they already want to leave the cruel place of King Pharaoh as soon as possible. Instead of waiting for the bread they prepare to rise, they ate the unleavened bread and the matzah.
Overall, the Passover Festival is considered as the day when the Jewish people get their freedom from the cruel hands of King Pharaoh. The earth consists of billions of Jewish people that are being gathered all together to celebrate the evening of the Passover Festival, to tell and to relive the story of the redemption of the Jewish people based from the Exodus of Egypt.
April 19 to April 27 Are the Days When the Jewish People Celebrate the Passover Festival 2019
After the nightfall of Aril 19, 2019, the first Seder Feast will be celebrated by the Jewish people around the world. And after the nightfall of April 20, 2019, the second day of Sedar Feast will be done. The Passover Festival was celebrated by the Jewish people through eating matzahs such as the mayor or the bitter herbs and the unleavened bread. The duration of the Passover Festival in Diaspora is 8 days and 7 days in the land of the Israelites, which is Israel. It is strictly prohibited by the Jewish people to eat leaven bread during the celebration of the Passover Festival.
The Passover Story in a Nutshell
During the celebration of Passover celebration, the Jewish people are celebrating this celebration on how the power of God helped the Israelites or the Jewish people to get out in the cruel land which is Egypt. The Jewish people become the slaves of the cruel leader of Egypt which is Pharaoh. Moses is the representative of God. Our Lord God send 10 plagues to the people of Egypt to let the Jewish people be free from their hands and get back to their homeland, which is Jerusalem.
Arrival in Egypt
The children of Jacob want to get close to Joseph. That is why Jacob and his children plan to go to Egypt. Joseph was the second in the command to the King of Egypt which is Pharaoh, and through the ingenuity of Joseph, he was also able to save both the Jewish people and the Egyptians in the hands of King Pharaoh. And also, with the ingenuity of Joseph, he also saved the people from the countries near in Egypt from the death of famine. The children of Jacob rested in the Goshen city and were prospered creatively, and the numbers of the children of the children of Jacob grew more and more.
As long as the sons of Jacob are still alive, the Israelites will still have their respect and honor. But when Joseph passed away, “The new leader of Egypt arises, and he doesn’t have any idea about Joseph” that is someone of the opinions of the Egyptians, they are in need to pick a leader who doesn’t have any idea about the life of Joseph. Joseph said these words to his people where you can read in Exodus 1:8-10, “Behold the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply.”
The only way by the people of Egypt to deal with their problems with the Jewish people is to make the Jews as their slaves. The Jewish people who are in Egypt are being forced to do the works that can make their back break. They are being told to do a building where the treasures of the King Pharaoh will be stored. But the Jewish people are stronger than the Egyptians, their generations are continuously growing, t the eyes of the King Pharaoh that can create a threat to him. To end the threat that the King Pharaoh is experiencing from the Jewish people, the King Pharaoh called the two midwives who are Puah and Shifra, both of these midwives are Jewish people, the King Pharaoh commanded these two to kill all the newborn male babies of the Jewish women. He wants to end the development of the generation of the Jewish people. When Puah and Shifra denied doing what King Pharaoh told them, King Pharaoh told his people by the second time to throw all the male babies to the land of Nile. He wants to kill all the male babies of the Jewish women because his stargazers told him that the future King of the Jewish people will die by the water, and the King of Egypt wants to make the death of the future Jewish King be too early.
Amram is a Levite and has a wife named Jocheved. Jocheved got pregnant and gave birth to the representative of God, which is Moses. Moses birth is three months early from the due date of Jocheved. Through that, Jocheved thinks that she is in need to hide his son from Amram. When Jochebed doesn’t have any ability to hide Moses anymore, she created a little cradle that is waterproofed and threw Moses to the lake of Nile. The sister of Moses, who is Miriam, see how her mother throws her brother in the lake of Nile through hiding in the bushes.
The daughter of the King Pharaoh takes a bath onto the lake of Nile when she saw the cradle of Moses floating on the lake. When she tried to open the cradle, she saw a sleeping male baby and knew that that male baby is the son of a Jewish family. But the compassion of hers to the baby arose and decided to take the Jewish baby to her home. And she thinks a name for the baby which is Moses. The name has the meaning of “he who was drawn from the water.”
The sister of Moses have an idea, and she thinks that it would be best if she or the daughter of King Pharaoh will look for the possible nurse that will take care of Moses. The daughter of King Pharaoh agreed to the idea of Miriam, and Miriam took the chance to hire Jocheved as the wet-nurse of the baby. When the Jewish baby turns into a male adult, he decided to go back to the place where King Pharaoh and his daughter live. The daughter of Pharaoh treats Moses as her own child.
Moses Is Appointed Leader
Moses wants to find out his brethren’s hardship, so he decided to leave the palace where he used to live. When he is leaving the palace, he saw a Hebrew person and an Egyptian who beat each other. And he saw with his two eyes how the Hebrew person killed the Egyptian. The second day of his journey, he saw two people, both are Jewish who are fighting as well; he tries to admonish the fight of the two, after that, the two Jews revealed his deed from the last couple of days. Through that, the young man decided to flee in the land of Midian. In place of Midian, he had rescued the daughters of Jethro and marry Zipporah- one of the daughters of Jethro. Moses also came to be the companion of the flocks of Jethro, his father in law. For the other time, the scenarios in Egypt worsen the days of the Israelites. The Israelites cry loudly because they believe that God will hear their pity voices.
When Moses is shepherding the flocks of his father in law, he saw the bushes in front of him burning, and through that, God appears on his front. God does that to give His instruction to him to go back to the palace of the King Pharaoh and say to him the words, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me.” Moses can’t answer what God said to him, and so, Aaron, the brother of Moses gave his answer to God on behalf of Moses. When Aaron and Moses flew in the palace of Pharaoh in Egypt, they took the opportunity to gather all the elder Israelites to give them the good news, which is to let them know that their redemption against King Pharaoh has arrived. The elder Israelites believed the news from Aaron and Moses, but King Pharaoh denied letting the Israelites be free from his hands. Thus he worsens the sufferings of the Israelites. King Pharaoh also adds the burden of the Hebrew people as his slaves. He told his Hebrew slaves to add the works of the Israelites on making the bricks on his palace. This time, the Israelites will go to their workplace to get the straws they needed to build the bricks by themselves, but they will still keep the same number of production of the bricks.
The companion of God, Moses can’t fight himself to pity his brethren, so he talks to God again saying these words, “Why have You done evil to this people?” God gave His promise to Moses that the redemption of the Israelites is in their own hands. God answered Moses with these words, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.”
By that time, God decided to let Moses see His reflection, with the “four expressions of redemption” promised by God to His people and to Moses, He said to Moses that with these, He will get His people from the cruel land of Egypt. He wants to get out His children from being the slaves of the King Pharaoh, He also wants to acquire and redeem His people and let His people live in Mount Sinai; by that, God promised to them that He will take all of his children to the place he promised for His children to become their eternal home.
The 10 Plagues
The two brothers, Aaron and Moses, are doing their best to let the King Pharaoh free the Israelites from his hands, for them to praise the Lord God, but the King Pharaoh continuously denied the favor of Aaron and Moses. Through that, the staff of Aaron became a snake and swallowed the sticks of the sorcerers of Egypt. But the King Pharaoh still denied the favor of the two brothers, which is to let all the Jewish people be free from his hands. And Moses also gave his warning to King Pharaoh and said that if the King didn’t let the Jewish people go for the second time, their God will smite the people in Egypt and also his place. But the imperviousness of the King Pharaoh remained. And by that, God started to give a couple of plagues in the Egyptian families. At the end of the plagues that God gave to the people of Egypt, the King Pharaoh promised the Jewish people that he will set the Israelites free from the cruel hands of him, but King Pharaoh still reneged and removed his affliction.
- The lake of Nile was hit by Aaron, and the lake turns into the bloody one.
- The several frog types overrun the place of the King Pharaoh.
- The beasts and men of Egypt were infected by the lice, but Pharaoh remained stubborn through these four plagues.
- The cities of Egypt were invaded by groups of different animals.
- The domestic animals of the Egyptian were killed by the pestilence.
- The people in Egypt were afflicted by the painful boil.
- The combination of ice and fire became the devastating hail in the skies of Egypt, but still, King Pharaoh’s heart remained cold, and he said he will not ever give the freedom of the Israelites to them, by that, God talks to Moses again.
The Egyptians experienced lots of suffering caused by the plagues sent by God because of the King Pharaoh. The people of Egypt please King Pharaoh to give the freedom of the Jewish people. When Moses return to the palace of King Pharaoh to give the 8th plague, that King Pharaoh said to him these words, “You say that you want to go serve your G‑d? I’ll let the men go, as long as the women and children stay behind.” And the answer to Moses is a big NO. He said that all of the Jewish people- whether men or women and their children must be free, as well the herds and cattle. But still, King Pharaoh denied to let the Jewish people go.
The two next plagues were sent by God in the land of Egypt.
- The greenery and crops of the Egyptians were devoured by the swarm of locusts.
- The land of Egypt has been covered by the palpable and thick darkness.
The Jewish people are being told to celebrate the Passover Offering to the Savior Lord God. The kids or the lamb are in need to be slaughtered, and their blood should be scattered on the front doors of the Israelites, for the Lord God pass to their houses when the time will come that He will call all the firstborn Egyptians. The Passover offering should have the meat that is roasted, and this offering will be eaten by the Jewish people altogether with matzah during the night of the offering with some bitter herbs and unleavened bread.
Then God sent His 10th plague in the land of Egypt which is the;
- In the midnight time of the 15th day of the Nissan month, the firstborn Egyptians were all killed by the certain stroke happen.
Because of the death by all of the Egyptians that are firstborn breaks the cruelness and the resistance of the heart of Pharaoh and he is now the one who begged all the Israelites to go out on his land, Egypt. Through following the commandments of the Lord God, the Israelites were hastily departed; very hastily for them to have no more time to make their dough arises, and the unleavened bread is the only thing they take away when they leave the palace of King Pharaoh. But before the Jewish people finally left the land of Egypt, they ask a favor for their neighbors that are Egyptian to give them some silver, gold, and garments, this is their way on leaving the land of Egypt which is considered as a wealthy and healthy in materials nation.
The Israelites were told by God to celebrate the every year Exodus’ anniversary through vanishing all the leaven of their things within 7 days. The Israelites are being told as well to let their children know the redemption they made against the cruel King of Egypt, Pharaoh and also to eat the matzah.
After God allows His Israelites to depart themselves from leaving the land of Egypt, the King Pharaoh did his best to make the Children of Israel come back in Egypt to be his slave again, and the Children of Israel found themselves being trapped by the soldiers of King Pharaoh in the sea. The time of that, Moses talked to God and God told him to make his staff rise above the water, for the water to split into two for the Children of Israel go to the other part of the sea. And after all the Israelites passed the sea, it will close again, and the soldiers of King Pharaoh will be trapped in the middle of the sea. The winning smiles of the Israelites and Moses were drawn in their faces, and as to give their thanks to the Lord God, they sing the song of gratitude and praise.
Two Parts of Passover Festival
The last two days and the first two days of the celebration of the Festival of Passover are considered as the holidays celebrated by the Jewish people full-heartedly. The candles for the said festival is being lit during nighttime, and both of the holiday meals of the sumptuous and Kiddush holiday can be eaten by the Jewish people during daytime and nighttime. The Jewish people also don’t go to their workplace, don’t write, don’t drive or uses any of their mobile gadgets. The Jewish people are required to enjoy outdoor activities and to cook their own meals. The so-called Chol Hamoed is being held during the middle of the fourth day of celebrating the Festival of Passover. This is also considered as the intermediate days or the, where all of the work types are being permitted to be done by the Jewish workers.
For the Jewish people commemorate the day when the Israelites ate the unleavened bread they have prepared, they don’t eat it or even get the unleavened foods as their own. The Jewish people don’t eat the chametz during the middle say of the Passover Festival day until the holiday was ended. The Chametz foods refer to the foods that are leavened and are not be protected from the fermentation and leavening. The foods that are being considered as the chametz are the leavened pasta, cereal, cookies, grains, cakes and bread, and other alcoholic drinks. Furthermore, almost all of the foods that are being processed are being considered as chametz of leavened foods unless they were products that are certified.
Removing all the chametz foods inside the house of a certain Jewish family is considered a very intensive process. The Jewish families are conducting their general cleaning mission in their home at the time before the days of the Passover Festival. And the Jewish families will do the removing all of the chametz foods inside their house on the night before the day of the Festival of Passover. And the Jewish people are also required to burn all the chametz they found in their house the morning before the celebration of the Passover Festival. If the chametz that a certain Jewish family found in their house cannot be rid of, it can be purchased by the non-Jewish person if the owner wanted to. And the owner of the chametz can also purchase back the chametz to the non-Jewish person who bought it after the celebration of the Passover holiday.
Instead of eating chametz, the Jewish people will prefer to eat matzah. Matzah is foods such as the unleavened flatbread. It is optional to eat the matzvah foods by the Jewish people during the whole day of celebrating the Passover Festival. The matzvah also has a part in the so-called mitzvah of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people will prefer to use the shmurah matzah that is made by hands and not a machine. This is because the Jewish people can ensure that the food they will eat is protected against the moisture that can get from the time it has been harvested.
The Seder Feast
The very central point of the Passover celebration is the so-called Seder Feast. You can observe this Seder during the first two nights of the Passover Festival. The Seder Feast is considered as the ritual packed type of feast and fifteen steps to orient a certain Jewish family. The following are the central parts of the Seder Feast;
- Eating Matzah Foods
- Eating Bitter Herbs – this is the time where the Jewish people will commemorate all the sacrifices and burdens that were experienced by the Children of Israel.
- Recitation of Haggadah- Haggadah is one of the texts that will tell every detail of the Exodus story in the land of Egypt. The so-called Haggadah will require all the Jewish people to fulfill their responsibilities in the Bible for them to be able to retell the Exodus story to the children of the Jewish family during the Passover Holiday night. The retelling of the Exodus story will start if a certain Jewish kid will ask the four traditional questions to the Jewish parents.
A Passover Message
The Passover Festival is the time when the Jewish people will celebrate the biggest miracle scenarios that were experienced by the Jewish people from ancient times. But how will you achieve miracles? Let us use the matzah as the idea to your question. Unflavored and flat foods refer to humility. If a certain person has inflated egos, that person can experience the miracle that came from the divine energy that all people in this world have.
The Passover Process
The following are the fastest overview of the process done by the Passover Festival.
One Month Before the Festival of Passover
You are in need to learn and study the rules and regulations of the Passover. You are in need to start cleaning the inside and outside of your house. Inspect and get rid all of the chametz traces that you may find inside your house. Keep an eye to the area where the fermented drinks, chocolates and other foods that contain grains as its ingredients located. To make your general cleaning process easier, you may draw a list of the several rooms that your home contains and cross out each room that you have done the cleaning.
Implement all the before Passover rules and regulations in your home. These rules and regulations might be; there must have no food that is made up of grain can leave in the kitchen. And after eating some foods, the clothes of the person must be washed neatly, and the hands must be rinsed with clean water. You can also store all your chametz foods or drinks you want to sell to the non-Jewish person in one area during the time of the Passover Festival. These areas can be your cabinet, closet, room in your basement or area in your kitchen, and other areas that can be secured and locked for the duration of the Passover Festival.
You are now ready to sell all of your chametz foods and drinks. But first, arrange it completely. Before selling it, you are in need to fill up a form and give it to the Rabbi of your place, this serves that you are giving your task of selling the chametz foods and drinks of yours before the celebration of the Passover Festival.
For the non-Jewish buyers, they are in need to buy the wine and the matzah before the time of the Passover celebration and place it in a certain area where it is protected from being connected to any food of chametz.
After the Celebration of Passover Festival
After the celebration of the Passover Festival, you can now eat and drink all the chametz that you have been sold to a non-Jewish person during the celebration of the Passover Festival. Just keep in mind that the chametz you will eat is not in been possessed by a certain Jewish person in the duration of the Passover Festival. But if you do eat the chametz foods and drink the chametz drinks, do not forget the freedom that has been given to you for eight days, and do remember it all throughout the years. When you enjoy eating and drinking all the chamatz foods and drinks, be aware that the spirit of matzah is forever with you.