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Background

In the Jewish religion, this holiday is the festival of freedom.  Consisting of eight days, this celebration commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites form slavery in ancient Egypt.  The ancient Jewish people were subjected to slavery and labor under the Egyptian Pharaohs, and according to Jewish belief, God sent a plague to kill all of the Egyptian peoples first born, sparing the Jewish people. In order for the Jewish people to be spared they had to put lambs blood over the door to the home.  The Pharaoh then let the people leave and over 600,000 people left Egypt. 

 

Observances

The first and last two days of the holiday are to commemorate the parting of the Red Sea, where holiday candles are lit, and work is not permitted.  The intermediate days are semi-festival and work is permitted.

The consumption of any food or drink that contains traces of grain products is not allowed.  The Jewish people rid their houses of all such products before the holiday begins, and burning of such products is practiced on the morning before the holiday. Matzah is eaten in place of bread, along with bitter herbs (symbolizing bitter slavery) and drinking four cups of wine/grape juice to celebrate freedom.

 

 

For activities, history, stories and interactive material, check out this site!

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/default_cdo/jewish/Passover.htm

Posted 7:15 AM  View Comments

Tags: passover
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