Passover Experiences

19 April 2017 Written by  Dorothy Gitelman
The First Passover

The directions from HaShem were clear. The last plague on the Egyptians was to be the worst, and we needed to be ready. Our humble abode was filled with our family, and a few friends. We were ready – we had been half ready for weeks as Moshe and Aaron had continually petitioned Pharaoh for our freedom. Nine plagues later, and still Pharaoh did not let us leave to worship HaShem. The lamb was ready for the twilight slaughter. Our job tonight will be to take the blood, paint the doorposts, roast the lamb, and to be ready. The blood on the houses was to be a sign that joined us all together. The blood showed our obedience to HaShem, and our distinction as the Children of Israel. We will be saved from the last of the plagues after this feast tonight and free to be a people. The bread is mixed, I’m not sure what the plan is if we need to leave in a hurry tomorrow.

First Passover in the Promised Land

It is the fourteenth of the month. We have made it to the Holy Land. Joshua now leads us – we camp at Gilgal near Jericho. We are the remnants of Israel, and we are recommitted. We have all been circumcised. Last night was Passover. We remembered that day not so long ago when Moshe and our parents ran from Egypt with bread baking in the sun on their backs. We remembered our parent’s story with lamb, matzah, and produce from this promised land. The manna has stopped today. The children of Israel are in a new land, clinging only to our shared story of liberation to keep us united.

Passover with Yeshua

“Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins. But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom. After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matt 26:26-30)

Another Passover Miracle

Passover was not supposed to be the time when one IS TAKEN into slavery. Peter’s arms are chained, and he is surrounded by two soldiers, with another fourteen guarding him. The lamb, the matzah, the bitter herbs – the fellowship of Believers. He is missing all that this week. Herod had arrested him and would kill him at the end of the holiday. Every Passover celebration he’d been a part of in his life go through his mind as he drifts off to sleep. “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. He poked Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up! Quick!” And the chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals,” and he did so. Then he tells him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” Peter went out and kept following him—he didn’t know that what was happening with the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. After they passed a first guard and a second, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them by itself. They went out and walked along a narrow street. Suddenly the angel left him.” Miraculous freedom again at Passover.

Passover Today

Candles, matzah, charoset, horseradish, parsley, salt water, wine juice and shank bone. All the parts of the Seder are ready for dinner. The table is set for family and friends. We use the symbols to remember, to tell the shared story of the Jews being liberated from Egypt. The Haggadah adds the shared experience of the Jewish celebration of Passover over the thousands of years.

I pack my family’s lunch boxes for the day. No school lunch this week – my kids want matzah in their meal. Matzo ball soup for the oldest two, salad for my husband, charoset on matzah for the little one. We walk with the Children of Israel this week. Even as we live our daily lives, we remember, and we are there. We don’t merely share this with the numbers of the Children of Israel who fled Egypt, as time passes, we share in the celebrations and memories of all those who remembered Passover – we all stand on the banks of the Red Sea, ready for HaShem to show us His miracles for us today as He always has.

Full-time wife and mother of three, Dorothy Gitelman’s pursuits branch off in many directions. She serves as a cantor at her home congregation in West Haven, CT, is active at her kids’ school, and accompanies dance classes.

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