Presentation on theme: "The Story in a Nutshell : After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian Pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor."— Presentation transcript:
The Story in a Nutshell : After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian Pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G ‑ d saw the people's distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: "Send forth My People, so that they may Serve Me." But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G ‑ d's command. G ‑ d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock and their crops, to their first born sons.
Pesach commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained. At the stroke of midnight of Nissan 15 of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BC), G ‑ d executed the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G ‑ d spared the Children of Israel, "Passing Over" their homes -- hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh's resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way, did not have time to rise. 600,000 adult males, plus all the women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the journey to Mount Sinai and their birth as G ‑ d's chosen people.
Jews all over the world celebrate Passover in commemoration of their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt, and the 'passing over' of the forces of destruction over their homes as the Angel of Death spared the first born sons of the Israelites on the eve of the Exodus. Passover begins with the 15th and ends with the 21st day of the Jewish month of Nissan (March or April). On the first night of Passover, a special family meal called the seder is held. During the week of Passover, all leavened bread is forbidden. Only unleavened bread - matzo - may be eaten during this period. Matzo symbolized both the suffering of the Hebrews in slavery in Egypt, as well as the haste with which they left Egypt during the Exodus. Ancient Egypt, more than three thousand years ago, was ruled by the Pharaoh Ramses II. Under him the land of Egypt prospered, for he was a strong and powerful ruler. One of Pharaoh's closest friends and advisers was Moses, a foundling, who had been brought up in the royal court by one of the princesses as her own son. But Moses was a Hebrew, not an Egyptian, and his people were slaves under Ramses II. One day Moses saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew slave, and he was so angry that he killed the Egyptian. Moses then fled to Midan, where he lived for many years as a shepherd, until G-d called on him to lead his people out of the land of Egypt.
YACHATZ: One of the three matzahs on the table is broken. Part of it is returned to the pile, the other part is set aside for the afikomen. MAGGID: A retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the first Pesach. This begins with the youngest person asking The Four Questions, a set of questions about the proceedings, designed to encourage participation in the seder. The Four Questions are also known as Mah Nishtanah (Why is this night different from other nights?), which are the first words of the Four Questions. This is often sung. MATZAH: A blessing specific to matzah is recited, and a bit of matzah is eaten. KOREH: The Sandwich we eat together with the matzah and the paschal offering.In G-d’s honor, we eat some marror on a piece of matzah, with some charoset (we don’t do animal sacrifices anymore, so there is no paschal offering to eat) HALLEL : Several psalms are recited. A blessing is recited on the last cup of wine before we drink it. THE END NIRTZAH: A simple statement that the seder has been completed, with a wish that next year, we may celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem (and that the Messiah will come within the next year. It is followed by various hymns and stories)