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Judaism And Pesach (Passover) Essay

7827 words - 31 pages

Judaism and Pesach (Passover)

Part A:

The Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover) commemorates the freedom and
independence of Jews from Egyptian slavery which is best described in
the Exodus. This is the liberation of the Jewish community from over
two hundred years of Egyptian repression and is the remembrance of the
mass exodus of Jews from Egypt. It also serves as a reminder of Jewish
oppression over the years from different tyrants such as Hitler and
the Egyptian pharaoh. This festival pays homage to Moses who led his
people free from the subjugation in which the Egyptian pharaoh had put
the Jewish people under. Festivals like these give Jews hope for the
future and massacres such as the holocaust strengthens the faith of
many Jews.

Pesach begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. It is the
first of the three major festivals with both historical and
agricultural significance (the other two are Shavu'ot and Sukkot).
Agriculturally, it represents the beginning of the harvest season in
Israel, but little attention is paid to this aspect of the holiday.
The primary observances of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt
after generations of slavery. The name "Pesach" comes from the Hebrew
root Peh-Samech-Chet, meaning to pass through, to pass over, to exempt
or to spare. It refers to the fact that God "passed over" the houses
of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. In English,
the holiday is known as Passover. "Pesach" is also the name of the
sacrificial offering (a lamb) that was made in the Temple on this

The festival of Pesach began with the story of freedom of the Jews
from the hands of the Egyptians (The exodus; the Book of Exodus is the
second book of the Old Testament and of the Pentateuch)

Pesach is celebrated in the spring period which symbolises new
beginnings, freedom, independence and the creation of the Jewish
state. Everywhere in the world the Pesach is observed for one day
longer than in Israel. This custom began in ancient time when the Jews
living in the Diaspora could not know when the rabbis had proclaimed a
new month until the messengers arrived to tell them. Continuing this
ancient practice gives Jews a way of expressing the special sanctity
and blessedness of the 'holy land.' The spiritual attainments of
Pesach, for example, which maybe achieved in Israel in seven days,
would take eight days everywhere else in the world.

The Exodus which is the second book of the Bible has as its main theme
the emancipation of the Jewish nation from Egypt. Every year when
Pesach is celebrated; the story of the exodus is read aloud by the
father to his family. A retelling of the story of the Exodus from
Egypt and the first Pesach is read. This begins with the youngest
person asking The Four Questions, a set of questions...

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