Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chag Sameach! Happy Passover!

The Pessah (Passover) holiday starts tonight, and the prep has been heavy duty...which is why there hasn't been much in the way of new pieces for the past couple of days. Although I may try and squeeze a few more things out before the balloon goes up, so to speak.

Passover is a familiar holiday even to non-Jews. The story of the Exodus is well known, but here are a few things you might find interesting...

Today, according to Jewish tradition, the sun, moon and stars are in the exact position they were when G-d created the Earth. This exact configuration occurs only once every 28 years,when the sun resets to its original starting point so it's an occasion for religious Jews to say a special prayer, Birkas HaChama (Blessing of the sun)which is said at sunrise, although some people say it at mid-day. It's normally said in a large group.

It's a prayer recognizing G-d's creation ( which according to Genesis 1:16 happened on the fourth day, the very first Wednesday in time), and reminding us not to take it for granted. The sun is 92,960,000 miles away from us. If it was closer or farther away, life would be impossible on earth.

Passover is a spring festival but also a festival of freedom. For many Jews in countries like America with a large degree of freedom, it's a time not only to celebrate that freedom but to look at things we may have enslaved ourselves to.

Jews celebrate Passover with festival dinners known as seders, which include prayers and meditations on the holiday and a re-telling of the Exodus story. Jesus Christ's famous Last Supper was a Passover Seder in Jerusalem.

And, of course, there's matzoh, lotsa matzoh.

My pal Ya'akov over atThe Dry Bones Blog explains everything you ever wanted to know about matzoh....

And of course, there's always the maniacs over at JibJab's `Matzoh Rap'!

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