Essay by KvillePunk21University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

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A very important part of the Jewish religion is their holidays. Passover or Pesach is very important Jewish festival that lasts eight days. It celebrates the beginning of the Jewish people. It remembers when the Jews were led out of Egypt by Moses. Jewish people have celebrated it by 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 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 that are 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 three days the Pharaoh regretted his decision to let the Israelites go and went after them and mobilized his army and instructed them to go after the Israelites. When both groups reached the Red Sea, it is said that the Sea split in half and that the Israelites took to the dry path through the middle of the divided sea. When Pharaoh's army was 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 gets together and spring-cleans 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 remove all the traces of...