March 24, 2020
A Passover Guide provided by JAA’s Director of Pastoral Care, Rabbi Dovid Small
Passover began with a story and a journey of the Jewish People over 3,000 years ago. The Jewish nation began with the family of Jacob, later turning into the first Jewish community in Egypt.
While life in Egypt initially was good, after time the people were led into to slavery. They lived their life doing hard work, building pyramids and living a life of hardship and difficulty.
After time, G-d showed his mercy and compassion and sent the people a new hope. Moses, a man of care and understanding felt for the people and began the process of redemption.
Together with his brother Aharon, Moses led the people out of Egypt with a mass exodus freeing the people. After the Ten plagues sent from G-d, the Pharaoh in Egypt let the people leave Egypt and head into freedom.
Upon leaving Egypt in a hurry, the bread they were baking was unable to rise and turned into the first Matzo- unleavened bread.
We remember this special story and journey of the Jewish people by participating in a Seder event with family and friends. At the Seder we sing songs, practice rituals, and share the experience of freedom in our lives.
We eat the Matzo (unleavened bread) to teach us about being free and doing so with humility and awe. We eat Maror (the bitter herbs) to remind us of the difficulties of the past and how we can show empathy and resilience when faced with difficulty. We drink four cups of wine to remind us that we can experience freedom in our journey today as we experience the Seder and Passover.
Throughout the eight days of Passover, we do not not eat bread and grains that will rise in baking. This teaches us about the importance of integrating humility and introspection in our lives.
The holiday begins with two holiday days, followed by four intermediate days and two holiday days at the conclusion of the holiday.
Passover is a special time for families and friends to partake in quality time together with meaningful connections. It is a unique time to share and care for one another in this special holiday.