Saturday, April 30, 2016

PASSOVER, SEDER, HAGGADAH, AND THE STORY OF THE EXODUS



Moses in the Bulrushes 6.25 inch saucer, ca. 1825.

I just attended two Passover seders.  One was short and child friendly (lots of very young children) and one was filled with young adults (20 somethings).  The purpose of the Seder is to tell the story of the Exodus.  It is commanded that it be read.  If you have never attended a Seder, or if you don't remember, the word Seder means order.  There is a ritual order to the telling of the story.  It is read from a book called the Haggadah, which means the telling.  The story starts with a new Egyptian pharaoh who does not remember Joseph and the good things he did to save Egypt.  This pharaoh only sees that the Israelites (known at different times as Hebrews or Jews) have increased in number, and he is afraid that they will overrun Egypt. He commands that the Israelites be enslaved, but they still multiply.  Then, he orders that all new Israelite babies be killed.  If you don't know the story, click on a summary of the Book of Exodus here.  Why are we commanded to tell the story every year?  In short,  the telling of the story of the Exodus is to remind us that the world hasn't changed much in the last three thousand five hundred years. There are still people who are enslaved and murdered.   There are still cruel leaders.  However, there are also brave men and women who risk everything to save these people; Moses and Pharaoh's daughter in ancient times,  and hopefully one of us today.  It says in the Haggadah that no one is free as long as there is injustice in the world.

I have written about Passover before.  Take a look at Had Gadya And Goats On TransferwareMosesThe Ten Commandments, and The Story Of Joseph.

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