Question:

From what I have read, to Jewish people, the Passover is a remembrance of the time when the 10 plagues were unleashed upon Egypt and if the Jews killed a lamb and spread the blood on their doors, the destroying angel would pass and their firstborn would be spared.

  1. What, though, is the symbolism (if any) of using a shank of lamb?
  2. During Passover, the house is cleansed of all leaven or leaven containing food. Do you know what the interpretation of that act is?
  3. My studies indicate that the bitter herbs represent the bondage, is that right?
  4. What else can you teach me about Passover? Why is it personally important to a practicing Jew?

Thank you for your time!!!

Answer:

It is nice to see that you are taking interest in finding out about the heritage of the Jewish people. Passover is a holiday that commemorates the time when God brought the 10 plagues upon the Egyptians, and mainly because He took us out of Egypt from bondage and slavery, and choose us as his nation to serve Him.

1.        Before leaving Egypt the Jews were commanded to bring a sacrifice to God, showing Him that they wanted to be his people. By smearing the blood on the doorpost, this was a symbol that they performed God’s will and were spared. Essentially we are commanded to bring the Pascal sacrifice each year, however being that the temple was destroyed, nowadays we can’t bring this sacrifice, and therefore we at least keep the shank bone as a remembrance of the sacrifice.

2.       The reason we clean our property from any leaven (called “Hametz”, or chometz) is because the Jews were commanded to rid their homes from leaven before they brought the sacrifice in Egypt. This commandment also applies nowadays; in order t remember what happened in Egypt.  ON  deeper level,  there are other reasons for this commandment, one of them being that the way leaven is made is by mixing wheat with water, and letting it sit and rise. This cause the dough to “puff up”. The holiday of Passover commemorates God taking us as a nation and the Jews thus became servants of God. Letting the dough just sit and stay stagnant represents laziness, and the dough’s rising represents haughtiness; two attribute that contradict the service of God. Therefore we are commanded to remove ourselves from these foods during Passover.

3.       You are right, the bitter herbs represent the slavery and bondage aspect of what happened.

4.       Passover is especially important to Jews because it represents our renewing our relationship with God that He took us as a nation and we are his people. This is one of the reason why there is a commandment to bring the Pascal offering every year.

 

 

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