Tuesday April 2, 2013
Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. It is the first of the three major festivals, with historical and agricultural importance. Passover represents the beginning of the harvest season in Jewish law. The primary observances of Passover relate to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. This story unfolds in chapters 1-15 in the book of Exodus, with many of the customs laid out in chapters 12-15.
The word Pesach comes from the Hebrew root Peh-Samech-Chet , meaning
to pass over. It refers to the fact that God "passed over" the
houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. In English,
the holiday is known as Passover. Pesach is also the name of the sacrificial
offering (a lamb) that was made in the Temple on this holiday.