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The passover (pesach) - Research Paper Example

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The word Passover is derived from a Hebrew word Pesach, which mean to “Pass Over.” Pesach is derived from the tenth plague when the Angel of death passed over the houses of Israel abstaining from killing their firstborns. However the angel killed all the Egyptian first born, both animals and humans. It was after this plague that Pharaoh freed the Israelites and ordered them to leave Egypt…
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Download file to see previous pages However, Christians in contemporary society celebrate this feast. The feast is associated with the exodus of Jews from Egypt after over 200 hundred years under the Egyptian slavery. Moreover, the feast is used to pay homage to Moses for leading the Israelites out of Egypt. The Passover celebrations start on the 15th day of Jewish month of Nissan. The festival lasts for seven to eight days. For the first two days, the Jews were not supposed to do any work and are supposed to engage in a celebration called Seder. Observance of Seder entails eating certain foods, singing praise songs and certain special prayers are said. This research paper will discuss the Passover festival and how it has evolved with time. The Origin and History of the Pesach The term Pesach is also used to refer to the lamb, which the Hebrews used to slaughter for the Passover sacrifice. The Passover which is also referred to as the feast of unleavened bread, dates back about 3,000 years and is associated with an astonishing event when the Israelites were rescued from slavery under the Egyptian Pharaoh. As recorded in the book of exodus, God had ordered the Hebrews to slaughter paschal lamb, which they were supposed to eat with bitter herbs. Moreover, they were supposed to spread some blood from the lamb on their doorposts, which was supposed to act as a sign so that the angel of death would pass over the Egyptian houses. It was during that night that the angel of death killed the first-born males of humans and animals in Egyptian households. This was the tenth plague after nine other plagues had failed to persuade Pharaoh to free the Hebrews (Piercy 15-19). Hebrews were also supposed to eat the roasted lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Each family was supposed to slaughter a lamb but the unmarried and small households were allowed to share a lamb. The Hebrews were supposed to eat while dressed in readiness to leave at any moment. Even today, the Jews strongly uphold the Passover. They hold Seder and eat foods that symbolize the different aspects of the story. Such foods include unleavened bread, red wine, matzo, charoseth, chopped apples, roasted eggs, nuts, parsley, cinnamon, and celery. The Jews take four cups of wine the third of which symbolizes redemption and is similar to the wine taken when Christ and his disciples were celebrating the last supper. The Matzah, which is the unleavened bread is cut into two half of which is covered with a white linen clothe and hidden. The children are then required to find it and whoever finds it gets a price. The other half of the bread is eaten. The unleavened bread is a symbol of humility before god. The Jews show the humility as a way of thanking God for delivering them from the slavery. During the celebrations, the father in the households retells the story of the Exodus. Additionally, the Jews invite non-Jews to celebrate the Seder with them (MobileReference 32-36). During the time of Herod, Passover celebration entailed gathering in the temple, in the Court of Gentiles where they would slaughter a lamb and offer Passover sacrifices. During the celebration priest were supposed to hold a gold or silver basin, which would be filled with blood. The blood would then be sprinkled on alter in a ritualistic way. Later on, men would carry the slaughtered lambs to their homes and share with their families. Destruction of the temple in 70A.D. marked the end of animal sacrifices. However, families continued ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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