Pesach will be observed from the Evening of April 08, 2020 - Evening of April 16, 2020.
Redefining Redemption & the Meaning of Passover
Our familiarity with Passover makes this holiday so challenging to explore in depth, beyond matzah, maror and freedom. Pesach is more than just redemption and cleansing – it is the story of a nation’s birth, a strange but beautiful birthday. It highlights Israel bonding to God, a critical point in Jewish history. You may think you know the whole story, but trust us – there's a lot more to learn about Passover.
Passover commemorates God’s redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery, but it is also monumental for another significant reason – becoming God’s chosen people. Today we observe Passover for seven days starting with a spiritual and symbolic Seder dinner.
Before the Israelites became a nation, it was just a promise, made by God to His faithful servant Abraham. God told Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation in the land of Israel, but first, they would be enslaved and made to suffer in a foreign land. Sure enough, several generations later, the descendants of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, were enslaved by Egypt, the greatest power of the Middle East at the time.
Pesach, or Passover, commemorates the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise. God freed the people and set them on the path that would lead them to Israel and to greatness. In the process, God brought the mighty Egypt to its knees with a series of powerful miracles, including the ten plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea. The last plague, the killing of the Egyptian firstborns, as the Israelite firstborns were passed over, is what we commemorate with the name of the holiday, Passover.
Each year, Jews celebrate this pivotal moment in their national history by retelling the Exodus story at a special ceremonial dinner called a Seder. Special symbolic foods, such as Matzah, Marror and salt water represent different aspects of the slavery and the redemption. Additionally, no leavened bread is eaten for all seven days of Pesach, to commemorate the unleavened bread the people ate in their hurry to leave Egypt.
Passover is undoubtedly one of the most important moments in our nation’s history. But it also begets many questions. For instance, why is the holiday named after a small detail in the story, when the Israelite firstborns were “passed over”, and not the other mind-blowing miracles? And, why did God even use ten plagues against the Egyptians? After all, couldn’t He have whisked the entire nation out on a magic carpet, and called it a day? And, perhaps most perplexing, why was the enslavement of the people a part of God’s promise of Abraham? Why was it necessary? Our videos and guides address these question to help you develop a deeper understanding of Passover.
Buy Rabbi Fohrman's Book About Passover
Consider this question: Doesn’t the name “Passover” seem a bit strange? It seems like a fairly minor detail in the story... that God "passed over" the houses of the Israelites during the Tenth Plague and didn't kill their firstborn. But the story of the Exodus from Egypt is much bigger than that one detail! Wouldn't it make more sense to call the holiday "Freedom Day" or "Independence Day" or "Liberation from Egypt Day"?
And while you're pondering that, here's another question: Why did the Exodus have to be so complicated? Couldn’t an All-Powerful deity have teleported the Israelites out of Egypt and spared everyone the messy hassle of the Ten Plagues? And a related question: Was it really fair that God hardened Pharaoh's hard, and then punished him for saying: "No!"?
In his full-length book, The Exodus You Almost Passed Over, Rabbi Fohrman answers these questions and more. He reveals a side of the Exodus story that illuminates not just our past, but our future, and tells not only of our freedom, but of our destiny. This book will uncover secrets that lay hidden in this ancient and sacred saga: the Exodus you thought you knew. Download the first chapter for free.