by Judy Bratten
The most well-known and elaborate of the Jewish feasts, Pesach commemorates the miraculous exodus of the Jewish people from the land of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. It is also a springtime celebration, provoking a flurry of cleaning in the traditional Jewish home as the mother removes all trace of leaven and prepares for the Seder, the ritual Passover meal.
Passover includes the weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread when particular foods are prohibited while other symbolic foods are eaten. The Hagaddah, a collection of scripture readings, prayers, rabbinical commentaries, songs and poetry is the guide for the Seder and sets the tone for the entire eight days.
The Feast of First Fruits, which occurs during Passover, was a feast of thanksgiving in biblical times for the first grain of the season.
With its direct association with Easter, Passover is a very special holiday in our family. It is also a time of spring cleaning, a culmination of our Lenten purifications. We always invite guests to our seders so they can see for themselves the origins of the Mass. Our family prefers to use a traditional Jewish Hagaddah for the Seder, commenting frequently on the significance of many of the prayers and Messianic symbols and prophecies. We enjoy preparing the special foods: charoseth, bitter herbs, roasted eggs, etc. We made our own Matzoh Tash with three compartments for the three matzohs used during the Seder, a clear symbol of the Trinity. And we have plenty of matzoh, matzoh brei (fried matzoh), knoedlech (matzoh balls) and sponge cake (with matzoh flour). Recipes are available in any Jewish cookbook.
This abbreviated service may be used on the other nights of Passover.
Mother lights candles and says:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the radiance of fire.
Father: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified these days and has sanctified thy people.
All: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has preserved us alive, sustained us and brought us to enjoy this season. Amen.
Child: We praise thee, O Lord, for as we eat this matzoh, the bread of affliction, we remember the Seder meal when Yeshua transformed the bread into His body.
Father: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who gives us the fruits of the earth.
All: Amen. (All eat some matzoh)
Child: We praise thee, O Lord, for as we drink the cup of Passover deliverance, we remember that Seder meal when Yeshua transformed the cup of redemption into His blood.
Father: (raising a cup of wine) Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who createst the fruit of the vine.
All: Amen (everyone sip from the cup)
Father: The name of the Eternal be blessed from now unto eternity.
All: Blessed be He of whose gifts we partake and by whose goodness we exist.
Father: May He who is most merciful make us worthy to behold the day of the Messiah and eternal life.
He gives great salvation through His Son, Yeshua His anointed. May He who maketh peace in high heavens grant peace to us and all Israel.
We ask this in the name of Yeshua, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee and Ruach haKodesh, one God, for ever and ever.