Its Passover time! So, what is Passover and why is is celebrated?
Passover is a holiday about freedom from slavery and ultimate redemption. It is based upon the story of the Ancient Israelites' redemption from slavery in Egypt through Moses.
Today Passover is celebrated by observant Jews, and an increasing number of Christians, who are trying to return to the roots of their faith. If you read the Gospel accounts, Passover is the holiday during which Jesus was crucified. To Christians, Passover is the celebration of ultimate redemption from slavery to your own sin.
How is Passover celebrated?
The central focal point of Passover is the Seder, a dinner during which the story of redemption from Egypt is told. This is very important to Jews, as it assures continuation of the story to the next generation. According to tradition, the Hagaddah (book used to tell the story) uses "we" because each generation is to view itself in the story.
During the week of Passover, called the Feast of Unleavened bread, only bread made without yeast, called Matzah, is eaten. This is because the Israelites fled so fast that they only had flour, and could not make the usual fermented bread products. Part of preparing for Passover includes removing all yeast and bread products from the house. This outward cleansing also serves to remind us of introspection, and removing sins and negative influences from our own lives.
Even if you don't celebrate Passover, there is still a lot that can be learned from this story.