As the Spring approaches, and the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, Jews around the world prepare for the greatest home celebration of the year: Pesach. It is a time when families come together and work as a unit to eliminate chametz from the house, gather the proper dishes, and shop for all the Passover foods necessary to truly celebrate our freedom from slavery and oppression. You can see Israeli shoppers in the shuk in Jerusalem rushing about to buy the very best in the market. Locally I’m excited to see matzah and other kosher products available at the Terra Linda Safeway.
In Exodus chapter 12 we read how the Israelites were commanded to slaughter the Pesach-Offering, dipping hyssop in the blood, spreading the blood over the lintel and doorposts of their houses thus causing the Angel of Death to pass-over their homes sparing the male first-born from death which the Egyptian children would suffer. Pharaoh, himself a first born, is spared so that he may give voice and be a witness to Hashem. Each subsequent generation that studies Torah are reminded of Hashem’s power over Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
As we sit around the seder table with our beloved family surrounding us, may we be mindful of the gift of freedom, and celebrate the awesome wonder of our exodus from Egypt.