Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Holiday: Pesach

Common Tables sent this lovely description of the Jewish holiday, Pesach (Passover). It's a good idea to understand the traditions of many different religions beyond what you practice (if any). Consider baking a batch of unleavened bread for this occasion, and meditate on whatever aspects of the holiday resonate with your experience.

Pesach (Passover) - Jewish

Pesach (PAY-sakh) begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan and celebrates the Exodus of the Children of Israel from ancient Egypt after generations of slavery. This year Pesach (known as Passover in English) begins on April 9th (see note below). It is observed for either seven days (Reform Jews) or eight days (Orthodox, Conservative and Reconstructionist Jews).

Pesach is the one most commonly observed of all the Jewish holidays. Nearly all American Jews (including many who are otherwise non-observant) celebrate Passover to some extent, even if only to take part in a ritual dinner called a seder (SAY-der) on the first and/or second night of the holiday.

One of the noteworthy observances is that nearly all Jews abstain from eating bread and other foods made with yeast during Pesach. This in remembrance of the Jews having left Egypt quickly - without time to wait for their bread to rise. For many it is also considered a symbolic way of removing the "puffiness" (arrogance, pride) from their souls.

Orthodox Jews in particular do not work, go to school or carry out any business during the first two days and the last two days of Pesach. The same is true of many Conservative Jews. Reconstructionist and Reform Jews may abstain from work on the first and last days only.

NOTE: Pesach, like all Jewish holidays, begins the evening before the date given in this eLert and before the date that it appears on your calendar.

Traditional greetings: Happy holiday, in Hebrew Chag samayach (hahg sah-MAY-ack); or Happy Passover.

The American Jewish Year Book (published in 2007 by the American Jewish Committee) reports that the Jewish population in the United States is currently between 6.0 and 6.4 million and the world's Jewish population is estimated at 13.155 million. During this special time of Passover, we ask that each of you pause for a few moments and, in a manner appropriate in your faith tradition and/or belief system, join with us in sending thoughts of love and good will to all of our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Shalom Salaam Peace

Kay & Dave Corby, Founders
Common Tables now has members in 32 states and in the US Virgin Islands.

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To learn more about Judaism, we invite you to consider the books suggested in our online bookstore: The Higher Shelf.
Tags: holiday, spirituality

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