Pesach–The Biblical Account

The account of Pesach (Passover) is found in Parashat Bo.  In the beginning of the Parsha, we read that HaShem tells Moses to come to Pharaoh because  G-d had hardened Pharoah’s heart and the hearts of his servants so that G-d could perform the miracles that the Children of Israel will tell their children for generations to come.  You can read about the plagues of locusts, darkness, death of the firstborn, etc., in the Bible.  I won’t describe them all here.

Before the last plague, G-d tells Moses to tell the Israelites to ask their Egyptian neighbors for vessels of gold and silver and to put blood on their doorposts and on the lintel of their houses so that G-d would pass over their houses and thus protect them from the Angel of Death.  G-d also tells Moses and Aaron t hat the month of Nisan will be the first month of the year, according to the lunar calendar.

Following the tenth plague, the Israelites leave Egypt with their unleavened dough and their belongings, thus marking the end of 430 years of slavery.

At the end of the Parsha, we read that G-d gives the Israelites several mitzvot.  The first of these commandments is to celebrate the holiday of Passover for seven days, beginning on the 14th day of Nisan every year.  He also commanded them that no leavened bread shall be eaten during the holiday and that it not even be within their borders.

This is a family holiday, as we are told that each family is to bring the sacrificial lamb into their home on the tenth of Nisan and sacrifice it on the 14th of Nisan. If the family is too small, it is to join with another.

In my next Pesach blog, I will discuss preparations for the Chag (holiday).

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