What Is Passover?

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What is Passover? Its History and Traditions
Passover is one of the oldest festivals in the world. This festival falls in spring, in the first month of the Hebrew year, called Nisan (March-April), and lasts for eight days, from the fifteenth to the twenty-third. It commemorates the release of the Israelites from Egypt and the fact that God "passed over" their houses when he sought the first-born in that land. According to the Bible, the story of Passover runs as follows. A group of Hebrews known as the sons of Jacob came down from Canaan towards Egypt. They settled under a benevolent regime, where they were made slaves and set to work, building the cities of Pithum and Raamses. The pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew sons to be killed at birth. A Hebrew mother placed her infant child into a box and placed him in the Nile River, to escape the pharaoh 's decree. The Pharaoh 's daughter found this Hebrew baby, called him Moses, took him home and raised him. One day, he saw a brutal attack upon a Hebrew by an Egyptian overseer; enraged by the attack Moses killed the Egyptian. Fearing to be killed for killing an Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he married the daughter of a local priest. On one occasion while attending the sheep of his father-in-law on Mount Horeb, Moses witnessed a spectacle of a burning bush. This bush seemed some how not to consume. Wondering what was happening, he came closer to the bush and the local god Yahweh (Jehovah) told him that the Israelites were suffering, and that he had been chosen to release them from Egypt and lead them to the paradisal land, what is known now as Palestine and Syria. Moses had to introduce Jehovah to the Israelites, and after they had adopted him, he had to go to the Pharaoh and request the release of the people. To show that it was indeed Jehovah, who had spoken to Moses, Moses was furnished with three magical credentials. First, his staff was turned into a serpent and then reverted to its normal



Bibliography: Bulka, Reuven P. What you thought you knew about Judaism. Jason Aronson Inc. Northvale, New Jersey. 1989 Cardozo, Arlene Rossen Jewish Family Celebrations. St. Martin 's Press, New York . 1982 Fredman, Ruth Gruber The Passover Seder. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. 1981 Goodman, Philip The Passover Anthology. The Jewish Publication Society of America. Philadelphia. 1971 Sohn, Seock-tae The Divine Election of Israel. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1991

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