Celebrating Pesach

Shalom dear children!

Did you enjoy Purim last month? As every year, the celebration was very joyful, here in Jerusalem. We celebrated that G-d saved Israel from the evil enemy Haman. However, this month again we celebrate redemption.

In the Jewish month of Nissan
It is the Jewish month of Nissan. It’s then that we celebrate Pesach. Pesach reminds us of the exodus of Egypt. It is written in the Tora that G-d commanded Moshe (Moses) to lead the Jews out of Egypt. At that time, the Pharao, who was the king of Egypt, used the Jews to work for him as his slaves. They had to bake stones of clay, and they worked extremely hard. It was only after G-d had hit Egypt with ten plagues, that Pharao let Israel go. Do you know which plagues hit Egypt? Here they are:
1) water changed into blood (Exodus 7:14-25)
2) frogs (8:1-15)
3) lice (8:16-19)
4) flies (8:20-32)
5) livestock diseased (9:1-7)
6) boils (9:8-12)
7) hail (9:13-35)
8) locusts (10:4-10:5)
9) darkness (10:21-29)
10)death of the firstborn (11:4 en 12:29-30)
Only after the last plague did Pharao let Israel go.

Pesach means ‘to pass’. 
To pass or passing has to do to with the death of the first born at the tenth plague. During that particular night it was commanded that all of Israel would spread the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses. Whatever house had blood at their entrances would be passed by the angel of death: the first born in those houses were saved. During the celebration of Pesach we celebrate liberation or emancipation, in the first place of slavery. During this holidy, which lasts eight days, we eat good that doesn’t contain yeast, like bread. Don’t worry, there is something else we can eat, namely ‘matsot’ (matses) O. The eating of matsot reminds us of the exodus when it was night and there was no time to rise the bread dough.

Nowadays in Israel, people use different dishes, that are to be used only at Pesach. These dishes have never been in contact with any yeast(products). Such special dishes are called ‘kosher le Pesach’ (kosher for Pesach).

G-d will never leave Israel!
G-d has promised that He will always stand by Israel: He will never leave her! How wonderful that Israel, and all who joined Israel, were liberated. And how miraculous that G-d guided us to the land of Israel. Did you know that, during the forty years that Israel wandered through the desert, even de clothes and sandals didn’t wear out? (Deuteronomy 29:4)! G-d was very faithfull to Israel during those forty years, and He will be so forever!

Apart from these great wonders, we shouldn’t forget that it was horrible for the Egyptians to lose their first born. In the book of Proverbs is written that we may not rejoice in somebody else’s sorrow. That means that, even when somebody you don’t like at all falls, you may not be happy about that fall.
Have a great Pesach! Don’t forget to thank G-d for the liberation He gives us!

Noa Naor,  Jerusalem

Text to remember: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Proverbs 24:17).