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ah bel

Number of posts : 52
Age : 25
Location : east york
Registration date : 2009-03-08

Passover Traditions Empty
PostSubject: Passover Traditions   Passover Traditions EmptyMon Apr 05, 2010 3:13 pm

Passover Traditions (Pesach, Pesah)

Passover is a Jewish holiday that begins at sunset on the 14th day of the Jewish calendar month "Nisan." This year, Passover begins on April 16th. The holiday celebrates the Jewish people's emancipation from slavery during the Pharaoh's rule in Egypt. It is also a somber remembrance of the hardship that the Jews endured before achieving freedom.

The story of Passover begins when the Jews, forced into slavery, worked ceaselessly to build some of the great cities of Egypt. The Pharaoh, who felt threatened by the sheer number and strength of the slaves, pronounced that every Jewish boy be thrown into the river Nile. Only one survived. When Moses grew up, God told him that he must free the Jewish people from their miserable lives as slaves. According to the story, after several failed attempts at persuasion, God created ten plagues to fall upon the Egyptians. During the final plague, darkness engulfed the Pharaoh's land and the first- born child of every Egyptian family perished. A lamb was sacrificed, and its blood was placed on the door of every Jewish household, indicating that the Angel of Death pass over the home. For this reason, the annual holiday is named "Passover."

In Israel, the first and the seventh days are celebrated as full holidays. The five days in between, called the Intermediate Days (Chol Ha-Moed) are celebrated as half holidays. Outside of Israel, Passover is an eight day holiday. The first two days and the last two days are celebrated as full holidays, and the four Intermediate Days are celebrated as half holidays.

Passover is a family holiday. It starts by cleaning the house of all Chametz (leaven) is out of the house. There is a ceremony to search for the Chametz and it is called Bedikat Chametz (the searching out of the leaven) and Biur Chametz (the burning of leaven).

The highlight of Passover is the Seder (which means order). The Seder service is held at the dining table in most homes, and during the service the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told. The "order" of the Seder is told in a special book called the Haggada (which means narrative).
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