It kinda sounds like a little pastry, that you opted not to eat. Or maybe it's a bridge over the highway. Nope, you're both wrong. It's a Jewish Holiday.
"Okay, I've always been confused about this holiday. What exactly is Passover, if you don't mind my asking?"
Not at all, in fact I'm glad you asked. Passover, is like most Jewish Holidays... it celebrates a difficult time in Jewish history... ie: They tried to kill us... they didn't succeed... whoo boy, let's eat!
Okay, while that was funny (it was too!), it's not quite accurate. Here's the basic story. Passover, which begins on April 9th, 2009 and continues through April 15th. (Jewish holidays are based on the lunar calendar, so they fall on different dates in the Gregorian calendar each year).
The Hebrews (not yet Jewish people) were enslaved by Pharaoh of Egypt for many generations. As slaves, they were forced to do all the "heavy lifting", and were put to work building the major cities and pyramids of Ramses II.
Passover celebrates the telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt, during which, Moses & his brother Aaron negotiated the release of the Hebrews from slavery (did you catch that real estate tie-in, with the negotiations....??)
Anyhooo... as part of the negotiations, God sent 10 plagues against the Egyptians... including turning the river to blood, and then sending frogs, lice, flies, disease animals, boils, thunder and hail, locust, darkness & culminating in the ever-popular killing of the Egyptian first born.
It's in this last plague that the Hebrews were told to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a sacrificial spring lamb. And hence the angel of death would "PASS-OVER" the homes of the Hebrews and kill only the first born of the Egyptians. (Get it... Passover??)
Pharaoh finally relented, upon seeing his own son die, and released the Hebrews. Trying to ready themselves for the trip through the desert, they left in such a rush, so the Pharaoh wouldn't have a chance to change his mind, that the bread they baked didn't have time to rise, which created the first Matzoh (unleavened bread). It was a good thing they left quickly, as the Pharaoh did soon "harden his heart", and went with his army to retrieve the Hebrew slaves.
Seeing the Egyptian army approaching, with their backs to the Red Sea, Moses raised his staff, and split the red sea, giving the ex-slaves an escape route. When the Egyptian army tried to follow into the sea, God caused the pathway to close and drown the pursuers.
(familiar theme... right?... they tried to kill us... they failed.... whoo hoo, let's eat).
This is of course, the precursor to the Hebrews 40-year-tour through the desert on the way to the promised land, but that's an entirely different movie, with Charleton Heston and James Cagney in full technicolor.
btw... for those who are wondering... the photo is an image of Alan's personal Seder Plate, it's Bone China, made by Lennox and lists the 10 plagues on the outside edge, and then has six spots (and cups) for specific foods eaten as part of the celebration... an Egg (represents spring and renewal), Parsley (spring) Chazeret (a bitter herb often Romaine lettuce, represents the bitterness of slavery), Horseradish (represents the mortar in the bricks used to build the Egyptian buildings), Charoset (an apple and wine mixture, representing mortar yet sweetness, and a Shankbone (represents the sacrificial lamb). In the middle, the order of the service is spelled out, lest one forget.
The Seder is the ceremonial celebration of the exodus from Egypt that spells out the story. The Word SEDER means "order" in Hebrew, and the most important factoid about Passover, for Jews, is the telling and retelling of the story, so that there is an oral history of the Exodus.
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com
Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate • Licensed in Illinois
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