Where did Passover come from?
There are three important reasons for Passover. First, Passover celebrates Freedom. In Ancient Days, the Israelites worked as slaves for the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Lord God told Moses to free the slaves and take them to Mount Sinai and the Passover seder re-enacts the biblical story of Freedom. Second, it is the festival of Unleavened Bread (matzot) which celebrates wheat harvest and agriculture. And third, it is linked to the Pascal lamb offering of the nomadic people of the ancient Near East.
In this lesson you will learn the stories about:
- The three historical reasons for Passover
- The place in the Torah where it mentions Passover
- How Matzoh is made
- The wandering nomads in the Ancient Near East and animal sacrifice
#1 Meet Mr. Passover
#2 WATCH this video to learn about the first reason: Z’man Chayruteinyu (freedom).
#3 READ about the 2nd reason: Pesach (the animal sacrifice)
Before the Israelites, before the slaves in Egypt, and before the Pharaoh, there were nomadic tribes that lived in the very ancient Near East. It was common in the springtime for sheep to give birth to their young and it was common among the nomadic tribes to sacrifice one of the sheep as a way of expressing gratitude. This animal was then roasted and people had a feast in honor of the birth of the new animals.
Centuries later, when the Israelites began to observe the holiday of Passover in honor of their Freedom from Slavery, they adopted this earlier practice of sacrificing animals from a long time ago. Borrowing and adopting different cultural practices like this, was one of the ways that Judaism grew over time. One of the items on the seder plate is a shank bone and the bone represents the ancient practice of sacrificing animals.
#4 WATCH this video about the 3rd reason: Matzah (the unleavened bread)
#5 Mr. Passover is back to teach you.
Chat HaPesach – the Festival of the ancient Animal Sacrifice
#6 STUDY this Jewish text about Passover
“In the first month, on the 14th day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering (pascal lamb offering) to the Lord God, and on the 15th day, there shall be the Lord God’s feast of Unleavened bread. You shall eat Unleavened bread for seven days. The first day shall be a holiday from work.”
– Leviticus 23:5-7
1. What are the three historical reasons for the holiday of Passover?
2. Where did the animal sacrifice for Passover come from?
3. What is the reason Jews eat Matzoh on Passover?
4. Write a one sentence reaction to the following video?
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Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!
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