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
Jeremy Corbyn leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014, one year before becoming Labour Party leader. Photo: File.
This marked a massive rise from the previous such survey, in which only 39% of Jews believed Corbyn was antisemitic.
British Jews also expressed an extremely low opinion of the Labour Party in general. The poll showed that 85.6% believed Labour suffered from “very high” levels of antisemitism.
Corbyn and his party have been beset with a series of high-profile antisemitism scandals for several years, which has resulted in the resignation and suspension of several prominent officials. Corbyn himself was recently caught on video saying that “Zionists” did not understand “English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”
Makuya in Jerusalem 201 (YouTube)
Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths. I delight to sit in his shade, And his fruit is sweet to my mouth. (Song of Songs 2:3)
For ten days in late August, Israeli Rabbi Benny Lau and his wife, Rabbanit Noah Lau, traveled from Jerusalem to Japan to lead Bible study for groups of Makuya Japanese Christians. The Laus traveled to five Japanese towns and spent three days together at a weekend conference with 3,400 members of the Makuya group.
Makuya is Japanese for the Hebrew word Mishkan, the tent of meeting, where human beings come into contact with God. The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites used in the desert, before entering Israel and building the First Holy Temple.
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. (Credit: Agencia O Globo)
Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election in Brazil, was stabbed during a campaign rally Thursday and was undergoing surgery.
The far-right politician, whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others – -who accuse him of racism and homophobia – in a deeply polarized electorate, was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.
Those same polls suggested that he will likely receive the most votes in next month’s presidential elections, especially if the country’s former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’) remains blocked from standing. He is currently in prison, but is appealing against his candidacy ban – imposed after his conviction for corruption.
Republican lawmakers have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Obamacare in the current Congress.
Republicans in the nation’s top lawmaking body have never really wanted to get rid of Obamacare. They would prefer to present the program, which David Horowitz correctly describes as “the greatest assault on individual freedom and individual choice in our lifetimes,” as a villain and whip up sentiment against it and run against it every election. They view Obamacare as good for the business of politics. They may chip away at it from time to time or tinker with it at the margins, but make no mistake: these creatures of Washington want to keep it in place. This is the Republicans’ dirty secret.
The Trump administration has decided to reopen a case brought by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, previously closed by the Obama administration in 2014, alleging that the university had allowed Jewish students to be subjected to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The issue, ignored by the Obama administration, was whether the students were discriminated against based on their actual or perceived Jewish ancestry or ethnicity. Kenneth L. Marcus, the new assistant secretary of education for civil rights, decided that the case deserved another look.
Nestled in the Han River in the middle of South Korea’s bustling capital of Seoul, Yeoui Island is hardly where one would expect to find the largest mega-church in the world. Home to the city’s business and financial district, its skyline dotted with skyscrapers, the island boasts some of the country’s most powerful institutions, such as the Korean stock exchange and the headquarters of LG, the international conglomerate.
The AfD’s opponents, who often brand the party as “far right” or “extremist,” claim that the party’s alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany’s constitutional order. The AfD’s supporters counter that Germany’s politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
Israel’s Palestinian foes regard “martyrdom” as the supremely highest expression of Islamic sacredness. Nonetheless, there are certain conspicuously prominent disjunctions between the relevant obligations of faith and expectations of international law. Unambiguously, only the latter set of obligations can offer a suitably authoritative source for assessing Palestinian resorts to armed force.
This is the case even when the stated objective of such resorts would be “self-determination” and/or “national liberation.”
“Setting fire to the ground,” a “major catastrophe,” bringing “new instability” are the headlines that have greeted Donald Trump’s unorthodox decisions over the past year. Withdrawing from UNESCO, moving the US Embassy, leaving the Iran deal and cutting funding to UNRWA and funding for Pakistan were seen as extreme decisions in the Middle East and around the world. Insofar as there is a “Trump Doctrine,” it has been to call this bluff.
In the mind-set of Trump and his team, the time has come for the United States to move quickly to reverse decades of foreign policy norms, ending the status quo, and ripping up what the previous administrations did.
The jihadi assault on and massacre of Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word. According to one report titled, “Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in mass Christian slaughter in Nigeria,” several Islamic terrorists “stormed through 15 villages to massacre Christians and destroy their churches in a violent crackdown against the religion…. Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Wars are raging in various parts of the Middle East, although there is a tendency not to call the conflicts by that name because of the fear conjured up by the word.
One conflagration is the war Iran is waging against those – headed by Israel – who stand in the way of its plans to take over the entire Middle East.
Another is the Assad regime’s war to take back control of the entire country, and a third is the PLO’s battle for survival.
Much has been written about the first of these wars, and reports have claimed that from early 2017 on, Israel has launched over 200 attacks in Syria, mainly at targets connected to Iran.