Pesach (Passover) – A Celebration of Freedom, History, Tradition and Family Continuity

Pesach (Passover) is a celebration of the Jewish people’s march to freedom after over 200 years of slavery in ancient Egypt. The miracle of their departure from Egypt and the ensuing miracles involving their crossing of the Red Sea, and the daily appearance of food to feed over a million men, women, and children are commemorated in a traditional family dinner, the Seder (order of events). During the Seder It is customary to recite the events of the Exodus in unison by all members of the family and friends at the dinner table by using a special Seder plate containing the main symbols of the people’s slavery and their sudden departure from Egypt.

Language is never a problem at the Seder as the historical written events of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, are written in a story form, the Haggadah, which has been translated into almost every spoken language. The hosting of the Seder dinner and the recitation of the Haggadah are not limited to the Jewish people alone, and the event is growing in popularity in communities around the world.

The attractiveness of the Pesach Seder stems from the basic story of the Jewish peoples liberation from slavery to freedom and the universal message it contains for nations and their peoples even during our current times. The ceremony of the Pesach Seder itself and its decorative and festive table settings affords a family the opportunity to gather together while enjoining members of multi generations to sit together and discuss the importance of freedom and its meaning.

During their enslavement in Egypt, the Jewish people were forced to build two cities, as well as pyramids and other monumental structures. A series of ten plagues were inflicted upon the Egyptians by G-d, while the Egyptian Pharaoh obstinately refused to free the Jewish people from his control. Only at the conclusion of the deadly tenth plague did the Pharaoh agree to free the Jews who were forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The sweat and bitterness of the people during their enslavement, the mortar they used to build with, the ten plagues exacted on the Egyptians, as well as the food they were forced to prepare at a moment’s notice (Matzo – unleavened bread) during their eviction from Egypt are all symbolized on the traditional center piece Seder plate on the festively decorated table.

Part of the tradition of the Seder gathering is the holiday spirit of gift giving between loved ones or by those who are invited as guests. Among the more popular choices for gift giving are Judaica items like a Seder plate, Matzo tray, Silver Wine goblet, or more personal offerings like jewelry. The festive atmosphere of the Pesach Seder dinner and the Passover holiday is one that is cherished by people of all ages and has been enjoyed by families for thousands of years.

The festive Pesach Seder is a time for the celebration of traditional family values and religious customs. There is a holiday tradition involving the bestowing of a gift as an expression of one’s appreciation to their host or to a loved one. Popular choices for gift giving are Judaica items like a Seder plate, Matzo tray, wine or goblet. Favored personal gift offerings center around jewelry. The presentation of a gift certainly adds to the atmosphere of the Pesach Seder dinner and the Passover holiday.

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