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 University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
“For the sake of My servant Yaakov, Yisrael My chosen one, I call you by name, I hail you by title, though you have not known Me.” Isaiah 45:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Many have seen similarities between the Biblical King Cyrus and President Donald Trump. (Breaking Israel News)
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
Many are claiming this was a pre-election gift to Trump’s friend, Netanyahu, but it others see a much larger significance that transcends politics and enters into the realm of the Biblical. One such belief was expressed by Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who noted that the announcement came on the Jewish holiday of Purim.
“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
If there was ever a quintessentially Jewish holiday, it’s Purim, when the Jewish people were threatened by Haman, a descendant of Amalek, and saved by God’s hidden hand. Even so, we find examples of people from the Nations being inspired by the story of Purim and even gathering to mark the day alongside the Jewish people.
Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags turned their backs on a Dutch chief rabbi during his eulogy at a vigil for Muslims killed in New Zealand.
The incident Sunday happened as Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was discussing the meaning of a minute of silence at the gathering at the Dam Square World War II memorial monument. Thousands of people, many of them Muslims, gathered at the square to commemorate the 49 people slain Friday by a far-right killer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hamas is now accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah of exploiting the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip to call on Palestinians to overthrow the Hamas regime. Fatah, for its part, is accusing the “dark forces” of Hamas of acting on orders from outside parties to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
The US administration says it will publish its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the “Deal of the Century,” after the general elections in Israel on April 9
There is a difference between an “honest broker” and a “neutral arbiter.” In advance of the rollout of its Middle East peace plan, the Trump administration has taken a series of steps to ensure its role as the honest broker. The U.S. is not “neutral” between our ally, Israel, and the Palestinians who seek to replace it. But it won’t be easy to change presumptions that are deeply embedded in the
When the FBI informs us that parents are ready to spend up to $6.5 million in bribes to get their children into prestige colleges, it seemingly implies that all is very, very well in the American university. But Warren Treadgold tells us that’s an illusion.
He’s a distinguished professor of Byzantine history at St. Louis University who has also taught at Berkeley, FIU, Hillsdale, Stanford, and UCLA. Having entered college in 1967, he draws on long experience to both indict and offer a remedy of the most thoroughly left-wing major institution in America. His book, The University We Need (Encounter, 2018) presents its case with insight and a light touch.
The threat posed by Hezbollah and Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in Hezbollah, was unmasked by Israel on Wednesday.
Daqduq was responsible for the “abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” the IDF said. The role of Hezbollah members in neighboring states is an illustration of how groups allied with Iran are continuing to build a web linking Tehran to Beirut via a “road to the sea” that transits Iraq and Syria.
According to the IDF, the role of Daqduq includes establishing terror cells in Iraq to fight the US in 2006, stints training in Lebanon in 2013-2018 and now putting down roots in Syria.
Every few weeks, some political or national figure demands a national conversation about race. (Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris insisted, “We have not had these honest discussions about race.”)
What does a conversation about race mean? Invariably, an indictment of the fundamental unfairness of our country, the historical roots of racism in white supremacy, and the national guilt of white people.
Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
We don’t have national conversations about anti-Semitism because the problem can’t be narrowed down to an easily blamed demographic. The Democrats invariably try to blame anti-Semitism on the usual suspects, white male Republicans living more than two hundred miles from a Starbucks, but the largest toll of violent anti-Semitic attacks tend to fall on New York City’s black neighborhoods.