Passover is the most celebrated Jewish holiday in America. For many the most memorable part of it is the food.
Yet, Passover is also a teaching tool. We highlight and expound upon important parts of the Exodus story.
Fortunately, in his monumental work on the Jewish holidays, Abraham Bloch summarized them. Each is rooted in a biblical verse. Here they are:
- The display of God’s power: “And that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:2)
- Remembrance of divine miracles: “And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” (Exodus 13:14)
- God’s protection of the Jewish people: “The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
- The obligation to express gratitude for God’s intervention: “On the seventh day you must explain to your children, ‘I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8)
- That’s God’s deliverance marked the fulfillment of the earlier promises to Abraham: “Because He loved your ancestors, He chose to bless their descendants, and He personally brought you out of Egypt with a great display of power.” (Deuteronomy 4:37)
- That the Exodus is the beginning of the Israelite journey to sovereignty in the land of Israel and free exercise of their religion: “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy, 11:8)
- That the Exodus reminds us of the possibility of redemption: Stand in awe of the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast and take your oaths in his name. He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
- To remember that we were once slaves: “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Deuteronomy 6:12)
- To follow God’s commandments because we were once slaves, and the laws preserve our freedom: “Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, so be careful to obey all these decrees. (Deuteronomy, 16:12)
- To sustain the Covenant in every generation: “The king gave this order to all the people: ‘Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in the Book of the Covenant.’” (2 Kings: 23:21)