Jewish Passover 2010: Holiday of Freedom

Jewish Passover 2010: Holiday of Freedom

Jewish Passover, or Pesach, is celebrated up to these days to keep alive the memory of the great liberation that took place in the Jewish history – the day when ancient Hebrew people cast off the yoke of Egyptians and became free with the help of God and the prophet Moses.

The Jewish Passover celebrates the miracle of Jewish people’s freedom and independence. It is an eight-day holiday that starts on the 15th of the first month of the Jewish year, Nisan (in March or April). The history of this holiday goes back to the time when Jewish people were held in servitude by Egyptian pharaohs. They were used as slaves to build pyramids, do hard exhausting work and serve Egyptians.

Only after 10 plagues sent by God did the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II, let Jewish slaves go free and leave his lands. The 10th plague was sent to slay the Egyptian firstborns. Jewish people were to put fresh blood of a spring lamb on their doorway, so that the holy spirit would not kill their firstborns. That is how God "passed over" Jewish houses and did not harm them. When Jewish people left Egypt, they could cook and eat only Matza, the bread made of unleavened dough. After a lot of travel and attempts to escape Egyptians, Jewish people found their way out of desert sands through the bottom of the Red Sea.

Since then Jewish Passover has become a holiday of freedom for most Jewish people. In order to prepare yourself for the celebration of Jewish Passover, you need to find and burn all the leavened bread in your house the day before the Passover. However, now Jewish people prefer to give their bread away to the needy, sell it to people of other religions or finish it before the holiday instead of burning it. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare the traditional Jewish Passover meal, Seder.

That is why Jewish people buy required ingredients and prepare the menu several days in advance. Since the whole family has to get together for such an important holiday, most family members make travel arrangements and plan their meeting in someone’s big house. In this respect the Passover is like a great family reunion that unites Jewish families for as long as the tradition is observed.

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