Passover is known as the “festival of freedom”, and is celebrated to remember the Israelites Exodus from Egypt and their transition from slavery to freedom. It begins this year on April 10th and ends April 18th.
History of the Passover
The story of Passover demonstrates how Moses, a former Egyptian prince who later in life became a religious leader and lawgiver, visited Pharaoh many times to request him to release the Israelites from their slavery.
Pharaoh was warned that if this did not happen, God would send a terrible plague of blood, frogs, gnats, boils, and locusts upon Egypt.
The final plague was the death of Egyptian citizens first born. God told Moses that any Israelites should mark their doors with lamb’s blood so the plague could ‘pass over’ their homes and spare them from this plague.
Eventually, after heartache and terror of the plague, Pharaoh surrendered and told the Israelites and Moses to leave at once.
Modern celebrations of the Passover
The Passover is celebrated by Jewish people for 8 days every year in Spring, during the Hebrew month of Nissan.
The day before Passover, a service called “Seder” is held with families and friends. Everyone at the Seder has a cushion to lean on, to remind them that they are free people.
The meal consists of:
- Charoset; a paste of chopped apples, walnuts and wine
- Bitter herbs made from horseradish
- Green vegetables to dip in salt water
- A roasted egg
- A lamb bone
On the table, there are four glasses of wine which signifies joy and happiness and represents the four expressions of freedom of the Israelites being brought out of slavery.
An extra cup of wine is left for Elijah, as Jews believe that the prophet will reappear to announce the coming of the Messiah.
If you’re celebrating this holiday this year, we wish you a Happy Passover from everyone at Profound Services!