Passover is a festival celebrated by Jews since approximately 5th century BCE. This festival is associated with the tradition of Moses who helped Israelites to escape Egypt. According to the experts and various historical pieces of evidence, Passover was originally celebrated on the 14th of Nissan. Just after Passover, the festival of unleavened bread is celebrated. In most traditions, this festival is described as originating when Jews escaped Egypt. While they were leaving Egypt, they did not have sufficient time to add yeast to bread and let it rise.
In the Biblical book of Exodus, the Passover story is described. This book discusses Israelites enslavement and how they escaped Egypt. The Passover story is the main story of the Torah and it reflects one of the biggest themes of Israelite history. It is mentioned in the book how foreigners suppressed Jews and how they received their freedom. This book discusses how Jews are protected from the cruel monarch Pharaoh and how they have survived the adverse condition.
The story of Passover begins when the cruel monarch of Egypt started harassing Jews. He was afraid that Jews will outnumber his people. In response, Pharaoh started forcing Jews into slavery. He made a rule that every son born in Jews family should be thrown away in the Nile. After the birth of a baby named Moses helps Jews for getting their freedom.
In Genesis Chapter 18, the first Passover celebration is mentioned. It is mentioned how angles met Abraham and Sarah were to inform them that they would have a son after one year. Moses was the son of Abraham and he helped Jews to end this slavery and get their freedom. It is recorded that the visit of the angel was on Passover 1. Though it is not described clearly, the astute reader will observe that Abraham instructed Sarah to prepare some cakes for guests. During the Passover celebration, the same term is used and matzah is prepared which is eaten by their descendants. Therefore, it can be concluded that they must have been celebrating Passover.
People of Israel or Isaac’s descendants were tortured when they were enslaved. Finally, God has decided to make them free from the cruel monarch pharaoh. God helped Israelites to bring them back to the land where He promised.
God instructed Moses and Aaron to ask the cruel monarch to let Israelites go away. But, every time Pharaoh refused to set them free. God sent many Plagues to the land of Egypt as a punishment to them.
In the end, God sent the tenth and most dangerous plague to Egypt. The final plague was the death of the firstborn son. God instructed Moses to save Israelites from this plague by telling them to bring sheep in their homes. On the final day, when god was about to bring death on the Egyptians, Israelites started slaughtering lambs and they ate them with unleavened pieces of bread and bitter herbs. The unleavened bread is known as matzah and bitter herbs are known as maror in the Passover Seder. These are the two most important parts of the Seder plate.
Moses instructed Israelites to use the blood of the lamb for marking their doorways. In this way, Moses protected Israelites from the death-of-angel. The mark of lamb blood on the doorpost indicated that it was a sign of God. The death of the angel passed over the homes of Israelites. Slaughtering of lamb is known as the Passover sacrifice. In the Hebrew Bible, Passover is known as Pesach.
In this last or tenth plague, Pharaoh’s son is killed by the death-of-angel. Finally, Pharaoh allowed Jews to go. He said Jews to leave Egypt before he changes his mind. This story of slavery ends when Jews go away from Egypt. Jews wandered here and there in the desert for forty years and finally they find the land of Israel.
Every year commemorate the freedom of ancient Israelites from the slavery of Egypt monarch. Nowadays, people started celebrating Passover in different and they started participating in Passover programs. They celebrate Passover for eight days and they prepare a Seder meal. In the Seder plate every item symbolizes something. For instance, bitter herbs indicate bitterness of slavery and torture.