27 March 2012

Pesach - Passover

Pesach (Passover) 2012, April 7—15 Nissan, 5772, 1st day of Pessach begins after sunset, 6th April. 
The Passover is an eight-day Festival (seven in Israel) commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

For the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten for which reason it is also called Chag HaMatzot - The Festival of the Unleavened Bread.

"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings is the L-RD'S Passover.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the L-RD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the L-RD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work." - (Leviticus 23:5)

"And this day shall become a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival for the L-RD, for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you observe it. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your homes ... you shall guard the unleavened bread, because on this very day I will take you out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your generations as an eternal decree." - Exodus 12:14-17

- When the Temple in Jerusalem was standing, the focus of the Passover festival was the Korban Pesach (lit. "Pesach sacrifice," also known as the "Paschal Lamb"). Every family large enough to completely consume a young lamb or Wild Goat was required to offer one for sacrifice at the Jewish Temple on the afternoon of the 14th day of Nisan,and eat it that night, which was the 15th of Nisan.

- Today, in the absence of the Temple, the mitzvah of the Korban Pesach is memorialized in the Seder
Korban Pesach, recited in the afternoon of Nisan 14, and in the form of symbolic food placed on the
Passover Seder Plate, which is usually a roasted shankbone. Source: Wikipedia

- The name "Pesach" (PAY-sahkh) 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 G-d "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 holiday. The holiday is also referred to as Chag ha-Aviv , (the Spring Festival), Chag ha-Matzoth , (the Festival of Matzahs), and Z'man Cherutenu, (the Time of Our Freedom).