The Israel Project and the World Jewish Congress host a pre-Passover seder for foreign diplomats in Israel. (Photo by Avishai Zigman)
Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish liberation by God from slavery in Egypt. In the Book of Exodus, the Hebrew Bible describes the Israelites freedom under the leadership of Moses.
As dictated in the Book of Leviticus, the holiday begins on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts seven days in Israel (eight in the Diaspora). This year, on the Gregorian calendar, Passover begins on the eve of March 30 and goes until the eve of April 6.
While non-Jews are not commanded to keep the laws of Passover, anyone can benefit from its teachings and traditions. Here are seven Passover traditions anyone can adopt this spring.
Before Passover begins, Jews remove all chametz (one of five types of grains that have been leavened by water and left to stand for more than 18 minutes) from their homes, as eating or even owning chametz is forbidden during Passover. Thus, traditional Jews thoroughly clean their houses to remove any traces of flour or yeast. The idea of “spring cleaning” has also been adopted by society at large and is a great way to benefit from the traditions of Passover.
Remember The Importance of Humility and Freedom
It is tradition for Jews to avoid eating leavened bread during the holiday of Passover. Because the Jewish people left Egypt in such a hurry, they could not wait for their dough to rise. In commemoration of this, Jews eat matzah, cracker-like unleavened bread. Matzah is also called lechem oni, or “bread of poverty.” It is meant to remind the Jewish people what it is like to be poor and enslaved. Anyone can eat matzah on Passover to remember the importance of humility and freedom, and use this opportunity to give to the poor.
Recount Family History and Traditions
While historical memory is central to nearly every Jewish holiday, the Bible not only stresses but commands the Jewish people to retell the story of Passover each year:
“Bear in mind that you were slaves in Egypt, and take care to obey these laws.” (Deuteronomy 16:12)
“This day shall be to you one of remembrance: you shall celebrate it as a festival to Hashem throughout the ages; you shall celebrate it as an institution for all time.” (Exodus 12:14)
“And Moshe said to the people, “Remember this day, on which you went free from Egypt, the house of bondage, how Hashem freed you from it with a mighty hand: no leavened bread shall be eaten.” (Exodus 13:3)
“And you shall explain to your son on that day, ‘It is because of what Hashem did for me when I went free from Egypt.’” (Exodus 13:8)
It is thus traditional for Jewish families to gather at the dinner table on the first night of Passover (outside of Israel, this happens during the first two nights of Passover) for a special dinner called the Seder, where the Haggadah (a text telling the story of Exodus) is read. Anyone can “remember” their own history and past, so Passover is a great opportunity to recount at the dinner table one’s own family history and traditions, to be passed onto the next generation.
Enjoy Israeli Wine
During Passover, it is traditional to drink four cups of wine during the Seder, symbolizing the four stages of redemption that the Israelites underwent during Exodus. Wine also symbolizes the freedom from four exiles: the three in Jewish history (Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek) as well as our current exile that will culminate in the geula (redemption or messianic era). As reported by Wine Spectator, the Israeli wine industry is taking off and maturing with age. Passover is a great opportunity to support Israeli wineries that are making the vineyards of the Promised Land flourish by trying a new Israeli wine … or four.
Introspection About One’s Own Slavery
The Mishnah (the oral Torah) states, “In every generation, one is obligated to view himself as though he came out of Egypt.” Thus, Jews are encouraged to take the holiday personally and reflect on their own sources of slavery and freedom. Introspection can benefit anyone, so take this opportunity to think about sources of enslavement in one’s own life (whether a person, material possession, or unnecessary negative emotion), and what can be done to release those chains and reach one’s “promised land.”
Make a Pilgrimage
Passover is one of three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish faith, along with Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and Shavuot (Feast of Weeks). During Temple times, Jews would visit the Temple in Jerusalem from all four corners of the earth. While it is no longer obligatory since the destruction of the Second Temple, many Jews still visit Israel on Passover. Take this opportunity to go on a trip with loved ones, whether to the Land of Israel, or to any other meaningful place.
Find 10 Ways to Guard Israel Against Its Foes
In Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Jewish people escape slavery by inflicting 10 plagues on the Egyptians, in order to persuade Pharaoh to release the Jewish people. This Passover, find 10 meaningful ways to continue the freedom of the Jewish people. Ideas include buying Israeli products, supporting those who support Israel, keeping up to date with what is happening in the land, and studying about the land from a Biblical perspective.
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/105146/7-passover-traditions-anyone-can-adopt/#iebtlgvtguPwkf8d.99
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
New immigrants to Israel arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Aug. 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner.
A top Israeli minister called on the government on Sunday to craft a “comprehensive plan” to encourage the aliyah of French Jews.
In Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett’s view, there has been a “historic missed opportunity” in recent years to bring more French Jews to Israel as immigrants.
“There are 200,000 French Jews who want to come here, and the state bureaucracies simply aren’t prepared for it,” Bennett, who also serves as education minister and head of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi party, claimed at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “These are ethical people, Zionists, lovers of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it is our moral obligation to help them.”
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)