Raquel San Felipe
March 29, 2012
Mikel Del Rosario
Blood of the Lamb
A Jewish Passover tradition provides a detailed understanding of Jewish perseverance and great consideration of their God. The sacred history of the Israelites, revealed through the Hebrew Bible, details their relationship with God and the development of Judaism. The first of three sections of the Hebrew Bible consists of five books called the Torah and refers to all teachings, written and oral. This section includes the Book of Exodus that tells the story of Israelites sacrificing a spring lamb for their meal. The blood was used to mark the doorposts to prevent death from entering and slaying their firstborn as God’s power passed over them, hence the name Passover (Molloy, 2010).
Nowadays the primary purpose of Passover is to relive and experience the story of the Jews ancestor’s Exodus from Egypt and retell it during the ritual Seder. Seder meal consists of specific kosher foods, such as, lamb, thin bread, salad of nuts and fruits, vegetables dipped in saltwater, much like the type of meal the Israelites ate just prior to Exodus (Molloy, 2010). Various religious practices and traditions, handed down through generations, commemorate the Passover as a renewal or rebirth of the Israelites as God’s chosen people starting a new life (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012).
Time of the Year
The Passover or Pesach is a major Jewish spring event to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago (Union for Reform Judaism, 2011). Passover is an eight-day celebration beginning and ending at sundown on 15th to the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, which is also the first Lunar month (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012). This year’s Passover begins and ends at sunset on Saturday, April 7 to Saturday, April 14. The Jewish Year is 5772 and the Secular year is from September 2011 to September 2012 (Orthodox Union, 2012). Passover is divided into two parts: the first two days and the last two days. During these days, the Jewish people are allowed to cook, bake, light fires from an existing flame, celebrate with meals, lit candles, and not allowed to go to work, drive, or use electricity. However, the second part and the four days in-between permits some form of work (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012).
Over 3000 years ago, God and the help of his assistant Moses led the Jewish people out of Egypt and into the land of Israel. The word “Passover” comes from the word “Pesach” in Hebrew meaning “passing over” or “protection” (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012).
As described in the Hebrew Bible Book of Exodus, God unleashed 10 plagues on Egypt to force the Pharaoh to release the Jews from slavery. Before unleashing the last plague, God commanded the Israelites to mark their doorposts with the blood of a lamb. The lamb’s blood enabled the spirit of death to pass over those homes. The next day, an angry and frustrated Pharaoh searched the streets for Moses, yelling at him to go and take all the Jews with him. Moses instructed the Jews to gather their belongings, do not wait for the bread to rise, leave immediately before the Pharaoh changes his mind. Not waiting for the bread to rise created unleavened bread, which the Jews ate the first few days of their 40-year journey to Canaan (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012).
Associated Religious Practices
In observance of Passover, this holiday ritual centers around the Seder, sharing an elaborate ritual meal with family and friends on the first night of Passover (Chadad-Lubaytich Media Center, 2012).
Preparing for the Passover, one must do the following: thoroughly clean the house for the Pesach (Passover) of all leavened bread products, sell all Chametz, avoid foods made with rye, oats, wheat, barley, or spelt, surfaces exposed to food should be covered or sealed, and stock up on kosher foods. Collectively, the five grains listed are called Chametz and are…