4 April 2017

Passover ~ Pesach ~ פסח

Jewish people around the world are preparing to observe the important Jewish holiday of Passover ~ Pesach ~ פסח(In 2017, Pesach will begin in the evening of 10 April and end in the evening of 18 April).  There is a palpable sense of excitement in the air.  People are doing their last minute shopping and getting ready for this religious holiday which is a great occasion for extended family members to come together.  People are wishing each other happy holidays ~  חג שמח .   

 Passover is celebrated as a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.  It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. According to standard biblical chronology, this event would have taken place at about 1300 BCE (AM 2450).  Passover is a spring festival which during the existence of the Jerusalem Temple was connected to the offering of the "first-fruits of the barley", barley being the first grain to ripen and to be harvested in the Land of Israel.  Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel and for Reform Jews and other progressive Jews around the world who adhere to the Biblical commandment) or eight days for Orthodox, Hasidic and most Conservative Jews (in the diaspora).  In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan.  It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays. 

Here is some excellent information courtesy of the Tourist Israel website of ways to spend Passover in Israel.
 Happy holidays ~ חג שמח
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