Passover, or Pesach, began on the 15th day of the month of Nissan (E'rev Pesach April 6 this year, lasting for 8 days in diaspora until Shabbat April 14th). Passover is the first of the Spring Feasts, followed by Shavu'ot, fifty days later---the giving of the Torah! Pesach also represents the firstfruits, or beginning of the barley harvest in Israel.
|Passover Explained in 3 Minutes.flv|
Passover recounts the Hebrew people's freedom and deliverance from Egypt after 400 years. When a new Pharaoh arose "that did not know Joseph", the Hebrew people went into slavery. G-d raised Moshe as a deliverer, along with his brother Aaron to help in this mighty exodus from Eygpt. This brought not only plagues to the Egyptians, but a mighty parting of the Red Sea! Miracles! We need more of them today! Especially for Israel's safety!
Probably the most significant observance related to Pesach involves the removal of chametz (leaven) from our homes before the Feast begins. We have done this commanded mitzvah. This commemorates the fact that when the Jews left Egypt in a hurry, they did not have time to let their bread rise, hence the use of matzah! We are enjoying unleavened foods this week ( See Sephardic Passover Customs )...good thing we like rice and corn products!
This time is also a symbolic way of removing the "leaven of the heart" (arrogance, pride) from our own soul realm. I pray that we may become more kind and patient with one another.
May Ha Shem encourage us all to see where we might need to "remove some chametz" from our souls to become better examples of His Torah. In these times of "Jacobs trouble"...we certainly need one another more than ever.
As the B'nai Anousim are awakening, our emails are getting more frequent, with questions from all over the world. Thank you for sharing in this very special time of our people.
Thank you for giving to SHI, for inviting us to come to share and for your prayers to Ha Shem for us. You are dearly appreciated.