For further information about the Jewish Passover holiday, our main Jewish Passover website has more detailed information about the Jewish Passover holiday.
What is the Jewish Passover?
The Jewish Passover is a Christian-invented term that describes the Passover holiday of the Jewish people. The term "Jewish Passover" had been a way for Christians to distinguish their particular celebration of the Passover holiday - named by early Jewish-Christians "Pasch", or the "Christian Passover" - from the "Passover" celebration of the Jewish people.
The Jewish Passover celebrates the freedom of the Hebrews from slavery in ancient Egypt. The Jewish Passover is loaded with symbolisms. There are many foods and rituals and every food and ritual in the Jewish Passover has multiple symbolic meanings. There are basic symbolic references in the Jewish Passover that are common to all Jewish communities such as the meaning of each food on the Jewish Passover seder plate. But there are also additional references that can reflect a particular Jewish community.
The Jewish Passover is known to the Jewish people simply as Passover. Over time, other cultures have drawn from the inspirations of the Jewish Passover story and developed their own versions of the Jewish Passover that reflect their own beliefs.
The date of the Jewish Passover varies each year. This is because of the lunar-solar cycle that this holiday follows as contrasted with the purely solar Gregorian calendar that has been used in the Western world since 1582.
There is plenty to write about the Jewish Passover, especially about the central meal that is the focus of the holiday. This meal is called the "seder". "Seder" means "order" in Hebrew, and there is an order or step-by-step list of rituals to perform during this festive meal. The Passover Haggadah is the "instruction manual" for the Jewish Passover seder meal and lists these rituals that have been compiled and ordered into 15 steps by Talmudic scholars roughly in the 1st and 2nd centuries C.E.
The opinions of various Jewish denominations vary as to the origins of particular customs in different Jewish communities concerning the Jewish Passover. Some say that these customs that are unique to certain communities were integrated into a number of rituals to characterize a balancing act between the Jewish culture and those of their neighbors. In other words, customs in the Jewish Passover in different regions, countries, cities, towns, and even specific families would include the original symbolisms for each food and ritual such as the bitter herb called "maror" representing the bitterness of slavery, but could also have an added meaning attached to this bitterness symbolism.
The Jewish Passover emcompasses so many customs and rituals that vary depending on one's denomination and community that it would very time-consuming to list them all here. There is, however, a website that you can consult to find out more about the Jewish Passover and its origins, symbolisms, the Passover seder meal that is the focus of the holiday, and much more. You can see links to examples of historical Haggadahs, and you can even send out e-cards for the Jewish Passover if you want! Just click the link at the top of this web page that says "Jewish Passover" to see detailed information about the Jewish Passover holiday.
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