Passover marks the Exodus of Israel from Egyptian bondage to freedom, the holiday’s name derives from the verse: ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” – Exodus 12:27
One of the commandments of the Laws of Passover Laws is to eat matzah at the Seder to commemorate the exodus from Egypt, as stated in Exodus: “And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.” – Exodus 12:39 During the days of the Temple, there was a special commandment to eat the matzah with a Passover sacrifice that was also eaten at the Seder.
Passover begins on a special night called the Seder evening. Israeli communities invite close and distant relatives, including strangers and the poor, in order for everyone to take part in the Passover feast, leaving no one behind. It is a Mitzvah (commandment) to tell the children on the Passover Eve about the Exodus from Egypt according to the writings of the Sages. It’s called the “Passover Haggadah” (the telling of Passover) and it’s told in order to fulfill the commandment of the telling of the Exodus from Egypt. The goal is to pass on the heritage and memory to the next generation, as part of the Mitzvah, therefore, the stories are specifically aimed towards children.
The largest “Seder” in the world was held, of all places, in Nepal. Every year, Chabad devotees in Kathmandu conduct a “World Summit”. In 2008, around 2000 people were present at the “Seder”!
The holiday’s name in English, Passover, is a literal translation of the Hebrew term, and the English translation of the Torah into English was made by William Tyndale in the 16th century.
American President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on the night of Seder 1865. This caused a strong reaction in the Jewish communities in the United States. In many places the Seder stopped, the altars in the synagogues were covered with black cloths, and the Passover songs were replaced by the Yom Kippur liturgy.
Hundreds of years ago, Jews who lived in the Sahara area left their villages on Passover and marched toward the desert, in memory of the Israelites in the wilderness who wandered for forty years (they did not go for forty years, but symbolically…).
And if that doesn’t put you into a festive mood, you are welcome to come to the Holy Land to experience the Passover atmosphere up close. The Flavors of the Bible community awaits you.