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Jewish Passover begins Monday 25 March

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Elizabethofseasons

Elizabethofseasons Report 25 Mar 2013 18:49

Dear All

Hello


The Feast of Passover is one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar and commemorates the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.


The story of Passover is told in the Book of Exodus, about how ten plagues were experienced in Egypt before the Pharoah would let the Jewish people be freed from slavery.

Passover is also called The Festival of Freedom and is a celebration of freedom not just enjoyed today in some parts of the world but hopefully and eventually by all.

Jewish people believe freedom a basic human right.

Passover is also a tradtitional Festival of Spring and was an agricultural festival, marking the beginning of the cycle of production and harvest.

It symbolises hope and new life and the importance of starting afresh.

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Preparations for the actual Passover festival means that the home must be cleaned and clutter removed.

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The highlight of Passover observance takes place on the first two nights, when friends and family gather together for ritual seder meals. Special plates and cutlery are used which are kept exclusively for the festival.

Parts of the The Haggadah (a holy book) are read aloud.

It describes in fourteen steps the story of the Jewish experience in Egypt
and of the Exodus and revelation of God.

As the story of each of the ten plagues is read out a drop of wine is spilt to remind Jews that their liberation was tinged with sadness at the suffering of the Egyptians.

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The Haggadah also contains songs, blessings, psalms and the Four Questions which are addressed to the father of the house:


Why do we eat unleavened bread?

Unleavened bread or matzo is eaten to remember the Exodus when the Israelites fled Egypt with their dough to which they had not yet added yeast.


Why do we eat bitter herbs?

Bitter herbs, usually horseradish, are included in the meal to represent the bitterness of slavery.


Why do we dip our food in liquid?

At the beginning of the meal a piece of potato is dipped in salt water to recall the tears the Jews shed as slaves.


Why do we eat in a reclining position?

In ancient times, people who were free reclined on sofas while they ate.

Today cushions are placed on chairs to symbolise freedom and relaxation, in contrast to slavery.


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Passover lasts eight days and the first two and last two days are observed as full days of rest.

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To our Jewish friends and colleagues, may you have a contented time and it is a pleasure to say:

"Shalom Aleikhem".


Take gentle care <3
Sincere wishes
Elizabeth
xx

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 25 Mar 2013 22:52

It is also called Pesach. In Welsh, Easter is "Pasg". And, in English, we talk of the Paschal Lamb.

And I have just realised why Jesus descended into Jerusalem on the ass at the beginning of Holy Week on Palm Sunday. He was, of course, a Jewish rabbi and it was as important a festival to Jews as Eid al-Adha to the Muslims and Diwali to the Hindus became. All religious Jews would have been in Jerusalem for several days for Pesach. Herod's Temple would have been buzzing all week.

Very interesting, Elizabeth. Thankyou very much for the thread :-) :-) :-)