GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Passover: Freedom festival for the world’s Jews

leave a comment »

Arthur_Szyk_(1894-1951)._The_Haggadah,_Dedication_to_King_George_VI_(1936),_Łódź,_Poland

A page from the famous Szyk Haggadah of 1936. Source: The Arthur Szyk Society, Burlingame, Calif. (www.szyk.org), via Wikimedia Creative Commons. (CC-By-4.0).

Passover, called the oldest festival of freedom, starts at sundown today. The eight-day Jewish festival dates back more than 30 centuries, recounting the deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt.

As told in the biblical book of Exodus, the pharaoh rejected the prophet Moses’ demand to release the people, bringing a wave of supernatural plagues on the land. The last plague was death for the firstborn of every Egyptian household in one night. The Israelites escaped death by dashing lambs’ blood on their doorposts — a sign of faith that made God “pass over” those homes.

In modern traditional households, the eight-day festival starts with a ceremonial meal called a Seder on the first two nights, according to a program book known as a Haggaday. Foods on the Seder plate symbolize the Exodus story, including a lamb shank; a piece of bitter herbs such as horseradish, for the bitterness of slavery; a bowl of saltwater, for the tears of oppression; and a mix of apples, cinnamon and wine, for the mortar used in the Egyptian bricks.

Also on the Seder plate are a roasted egg and leafy vegetables, for the springtime occasion of Passover; and the hard, unleavened bread called matzoh, for the Israelites’ haste in evacuating Egypt.

— JAMES D. DAVIS

Advertisements

Written by Jim Davis

April 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: