Jewish Festival "Passover" What is it about, why is it important and what happens during the festival.

Essay by Ali15381 February 2004

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AO1: Passover or Pesach is very important Jewish festival it celebrates the beginning of the Jewish people. it remembers when the Jews were led out of Egypt by Moses. It is celebrated by Jewish people carrying out rituals and celebrations. The festival itself means a lot to Jews as they celebrate the day that their ancestors gained freedom from being slaves. The story that is told on the day of Passover is that of the Exodus, when the Jews quickly left Egypt. Jews believe that after the last plague, which was the death of first born, the Pharaoh let Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. They left Egypt in haste and they assembled in groups to eat roasted paschal lamb and unleavened bread which is known in Hebrew as 'matza'. Then, after the 15th day of the Nissan, a Jewish month, all the Jews got together to leave Egypt.

After 3 days the Pharaoh regretted his decision to let the Israelites go and went after them and mobilised his army and instructed them to go after the Israelites. When both groups reached the Red Sea, it is said that the Sea split half and half and that the Israelites took to the dry path through the middle of the divided sea. When Pharaoh's army where chasing the Israelites through the divided sea, it closed over them, drowning his army and the Israelites had freedom.

On the night before Passover, the whole Jewish family get together and spring-clean the house making sure no leaven or chametz is in the house. Chametz means leaven i.e grain products that become swollen during baking. During this festival Jews eat only chametz free-food. The reason why Jews don't eat and remove all the traces of chametz is because when the Israelites left...