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April 15, 2014 > Passover, a time for remembrance and joy

Passover, a time for remembrance and joy

According to the Old Testament, over 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people were held captive in Egypt. God commanded Moses to intercede with Pharaoh for their release. But Pharaoh refused and, in response, a series of 10 plagues descended on Egypt. The final plague was the death of all first born male children except for those who marked their homes with lambÕs blood and were passed over. Pharaoh relented and "let the Israelites go." The celebration of Passover, also known as ÒPesach,Ó is held to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery and their exodus from Egypt. On each of the first two evenings of Passover, a "seder" or symbolic meal is held.

Throughout the seder, participants take turns reading aloud from the "haggadah," a book written in English and Hebrew that recounts the story of the deliverance from slavery and also includes blessings, prayers and songs. The youngest person at the gathering is expected to ask "four questions" about how this evening is different from all other evenings.

This year Passover began after sunset on April 14 and will conclude April 22.

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