The festival of Pesach is an expression of faith in One God, King of the Universe, who expresses his presence through permanent natural laws that he has decreed in his universe, and through special surveillance of the people of Israel.

A special importance is given to the Festival of Pesach, which is known as the New Year for the Pilgrim Festivals (Mishnah Rosh Hashanah, chap. 1). The Exodus from Egypt is a grand base and strong pillar in our teaching (Torah) and in our faith (Sefer Hahinukh). At the Exodus, God interfered in the affairs of man so as to return mankind to the right path. The historical importance of the Exodus is measured not only in connection with the past but also in connection with the future redemption: I will show them miracles as in the days when you left Egypt (Micah 7:15).

Pesach celebrates the birth of the people of Israel: And you are the ones God took and brought out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be his people of heritage (Deuteronomy 4:20).

The Revelation at Sinai on Shavuot symbolises our spiritual liberation. The period of counting the omer connects this with Israel's leaving slavery for freedom.

Main themes

  1. The original Pesach of Egypt and that in subsequent years.
  2. The three Pilgrim Festivals and the pilgrimage.
  3. The names of the Festival.
  4. The season of the Festival - the barley harvest.
  5. Holy day and abstention from certain activities.
  6. The intermediate days.
  7. The seventh day, splitting of the Red Sea and the Song of the Sea.
  8. The Pesach sacrifice.
  9. Prayer for dew.
  10. Leavened and unleavened bread.
 

 

 

 

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05 Jan 2006 / 5 Tevet 5766 0