Leading in the Right Direction
Leading in the Right Direction
April 2, 2023
Recognizing that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, I wanted to focus this week’s message on Passover. My good friend and club member, Linda Kesselman, was kind enough to write the following article on Passover’s history and tradition to help us understand this important Hebrew holiday. Thank you, Linda!
The Passover story from the Biblical book of Exodus conveys the historical enslavement of the Hebrew people in Egypt and how they were eventually freed. Initially, there was not enough food to feed the population in Canaan, which is now present-day Israel. The reality was that the Hebrews needed to relocate to Egypt where there was an abundance of food.
After the Hebrews had lived happily in Egypt for many years, a new Pharaoh took charge and believed that with the growing number of Hebrews, it was just a matter of time before they would take control of Egypt, so, they were then forced into slavery. The old and the young were pressured to work for hours under a blazing sun with very little food and water. Many died working on various Egyptian structures, including statues and buildings. The Pharaoh was obsessed with the possible control of Hebrews over the Egyptian people, so he decreed that all Hebrew newborn males were to be drowned in the Nile River. One mother wisely decided to float her newborn son down the Nile River, thus leaving his future in the hands of God. This infant male was found and saved by the Pharaoh’s wife, and she named him Moses.
Moses reached adulthood and was instructed by God to command Pharaoh to release the Hebrews from their life of slavery. When Pharaoh resisted, God delivered ten plagues upon the Egyptian people. The final blow to the Egyptians came when God passed through the land of Egypt and slayed all the first-born males, including Pharaoh’s son. The Hebrews had been warned by God to mark their doors with the blood of a sacrificed lamb. God passed over the marked homes and their firstborn males were saved. Subsequently, the holiday was named Passover. It is at this point in time that Moses left Egypt with the huge population of Hebrews and made his way back to Canaan.
The seder at Passover is a gathering that celebrates the intervention of God who made sure that the Hebrews could return to their homeland and thrive.
The Hebrews, while escaping Egypt, did not have the luxury of time to allow dough for bread to rise; therefore, they baked unleavened bread which is represented on the Passover table. It's called Matzoh. Hebrews are not supposed to eat any leavened bread during the Passover holiday to commemorate this.
During the Passover seder, there is the seder plate that sits in the middle of the table. The plate has various foods that symbolize the story of the Hebrews’ release from bondage. Click here to view what food a proper seder plate holds.
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The meetings are held in the Tuscany Falls Ballroom on the first Thursday of the month. Social time begins at 6:30 PM with a no-host bar available, and the meeting starts at 7:00 PM, with complimentary refreshments provided. Members and guests are encouraged to stay after the meeting for further conversation.
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