Origin - According to some scholars the ancient origins of Passover have been attributed religious meaning which apparently began as a countryside ritual to ward off evil. It was carried out by nomadic Israelites which consisted of sacrificing a lamb to begin the harvest season in order to earn divine protection over their flocks and families. The spring harvest yielded multiplying amounts of barley which was the first crop to be ready for harvesting to make bread. Spring was a critical time of the year for lambing and harvesting barley. Merging the most prominent livestock and crop of the harvest season together it resulted as the sacred meal of lamb and bread which is symbolic for the Jewish festival of Pesach. Such event with historical and agricultural meaning was attributed religious meaning when the tenth plague of Death of the Firstborn was inflicted over the Hebrews on the midnight of the fourteenth to the fifteenth of Nissan. The Israelites overcame such calamity by marking their doors with lamb’s blood and erasing all traces of unleavened bread as commanded by the Lord revealed by Moses, as stated in the Exodus, “About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again." Exodus Chapter 11 verse 4-6. The liberation of the Israelites following the freedom from slavery was commemorated in the book Songs of Songs, “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing bird is come, and the voice of the turtle (dove) is heard in OUR land.” Exodus Chapter 2 verse 11-12. The simultaneous occurrence of the harvest season and Israelite freedom is combined to celebrate the Jewish biblical festival of Pesach, with spring and the sacred meal of lamb and bread being a symbolic representation of being passed over their land of Egypt by God under the leadership of Moses.
Development - Overtime the customs of Passover have begun to be celebrated differently with significant variations among orthodox, conservative and reformed Jews. Orthodox Jews tend to re-enact the time of the tenth plague by sacrificing a lamb as done by the