Jewish Holy Days Paper

Jewish holy days paper Jewish Holy Days Paper Religion 134 Dwayne Wilson April 30, 2013 Paul Betancourt There are many religious celebrations conducted at certain times of the year all around the world, along with rituals that are performed. Jewish holidays or “Holy Days” are no different. Passover is one of the Jewish Holidays and is the topic of this paper. This discussion will entail the time of year that the Jewish holiday is observed, its historical origin, its religious practices, history, and cultural differences.

Passover is known to be observed in January, which is the first month of the year. During the eight-day festival, Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And by following the rituals of Passover, they have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that their ancestors gained (Molloy, 2010).

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It began with the Israelites being enslaved to the Egyptians for decades, in which they were instructed to perform backbreaking labor. “God” saw the distress of the Israelites, and sent Moses (who was the person chosen by God to free the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt) to Pharaoh with a message to “let his people go. ” Pharaoh refused to heed to Gods command and received 10 devastating plagues. Plagues that not only afflicted the people, but literally destroyed everything, including their livestock and their crops.

Toward the end of the plagues, “God” decided to kill the firstborn of all the Egyptians because of Pharaohs defiance, So he had lambs blood spread across the door arches of those that he was going to spare, so that when he passed by, those with the blood across their door arches, their firstborn would not be killed. This became known as the “Passover. ” Pharaoh’s defiance and spirit was broken as a result of these plagues, and he decided to heed to the command of “God” and allowed the slaves to leave the land.

It is said that on that day, the Israelites departed so quickly that the bread that they were baking for provisions did not have enough time to rise. There were approximately 6000 adult males, along with many women and children who began the pilgrimage to Mount Sinai and began their obligation as “Gods” chosen people. But soon after the Hebrews left their homes for their pilgrimage, Pharaoh changes his mind and decides to send his soldiers after them. But when the “Sea of Reeds” was parted by Moses, and the people were passing through to escape, the soldiers tried to follow them, and the waters came crashing down upon them, killing them all. Sedar” consists of a meal made up of symbolic foods and is considered to be the most important part of Passover. During this time the Jewish community eats “matzah” or flatbread to celebrate their freedom of being freed of Egypt. The Jewish holiday has many symbols to symbolize Passover, salads, fruits, nuts, lamb bone, and Parsley are just a few of the things used as symbols of sacrifice (Molloy, 2010). After the symbolic part of the meal is completed, a full course meal is then served.

The Passover is very sacred among Jews and during their holy celebration. The Jews have strict guidelines governing their consumption throughout the year, especially during Passover when they are not allowed to buy or consume anything not bearing a Kosher label on it. This holiday is divided into two parts. The first two and the latter two days are considered “all out” days with the latter two days being considered commemorative (a period when the Red Sea was parted by Moses for the Israelites to cross over into the “Promised Land. Also during these times, the people refrain from work; driving cars, and even writing. The Jewish community cannot indulge with “chametz,”, which is any grain product that has started fermenting, or any food or drink that contains any wheat, rye, oats, and other ingredients. Passover is held in high regard to the Jewish community along with its standards. References Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (5th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved April 2013 from http://www. chabad. org

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