PREPARATIONS FOR THE FIRST PESACH

The first time that the Israelites were instructed to prepare for Pesach was on the eve of their exodus from Egypt. Four days before, on the 10th of Nissan, they were told "to take to them every man a lamb for his household, a lamb for a house" (Shemot 12: 3).

To take a lamb for each family and to inform the Egyptians that the intention was to sacrifice these animals which were their idols, demonstrated Israel's faith and confidence in G-d.

That year, the 10th of Nissan was a Shabbat, "Shabbat Hagadol", the great Shabbat on which it was perceived that something of transcendental importance was going to happen. Today on Shabbat Hagadol the spiritual leader of each community teaches the laws of Pesach, so that the families can prepare properly for the festival.

In order to avoid transgressing the strict ban on chametz during Pesach and that of chametz which remains until after the festival, "sheavar alav haPesach", special care is taken to ensure the thorough cleaning of the home and the removal of every trace of chametz. Equal care is taken in the preparation of the matzot and the purchase of products which are strictly kasher for Pesach.

PESACH IN JEWISH PHILOSOPHY & LITERATURE

Jewish authors in all periods wrote on Pesach, and its accompanying themes. A very partial list is given below:

 

  • Philo, Don Isaac Abrabanel (cited below)
  • Rabbi Moshe Alshekh
  • The Maharal of Prague
  • The Gaon of Vilna
  • Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev
  • Samson R. Hirsh
  • Rabbi A. I. Kook
  • Franz Rosenzweig
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Theodore Herzl
  • Nahum Sokolow
  • Berl Katzenelson
  • Ehad Haam
  • Zeev Jabotinsky
  • Ben Gurion
  • Tchernichowsky
  • Max Nordau
  • Simon Dubnow
  • Shai Agnon
  • Shalom Aleichem
  • Y.L. Peretz
  • Nathan Alterman
  • Etc.

PESACH IN BIBLICAL AND INTERPRETATIVE SOURCES

Period and dates of the festival

  • Shemot 23: 15
  • Shemot 34: 18
  • Vayikra 23: 5-8
  • Bamidbar 9: 1-5
  • Bamidbar 28: 16-18, 25
  • Devarim 16: 1, 4, 8

Names of the festival

  • Shemot 12: 14
  • Shemot 13: 6
  • Shemot 23: 15
  • Shemot 34: 18, 25
  • Vayikra 23: 15-34
  • Bamidbar 28: 17
  • Devarim 16: 8

The three Pilgrim Festivals - making a pilgrimage

  • Shemot 23: 17
  • Shemot 34: 20, 23-24
  • Devarim 16: 8

Pesach Mitzrayim

  • Shemot 12: 3-11, 21-22, 43-48.

Pesach haDorot

  • Shemot 12: 14, 17, 24-25
  • Shemot 13: 3, 5, 10
  • Shemot 34: 25
  • Vayikra 23: 5
  • Bamidbar 9: 2-5, 13
  • Bamidbar 28: 16
  • Devarim 16: 1-7
  • Yehoshua 5: 10-11
  • II Melachim 23: 21-23
  • II Divrei Hayamim 30: 21-27
  • II Divrei Hayamim 35: 1-19
  • Ezra 6: 19-22

     

The festival offering

  • Vayikra 23: 8
  • Bamidbar 28: 18-24

     

Matzot

  • Shemot 12: 15, 17-18, 20, 34, 39
  • Shemot 13: 6
  • Shemot 23: 15
  • Shemot 34: 18
  • Bamidbar 28: 17
  • Devarim 16: 3, 8

     

Ban on Chametz

  • Shemot 12: 15, 19-20
  • Shemot 13: 3, 7
  • Devarim 16: 3-4

     

Mikra kodesh and rest from work

  • Shemot 12: 16
  • Vayikra 23: 4-8
  • Bamidbar 28: 18, 25
  • Devarim 16: 8
  • Rambam, Mishne Torah: Hilchot Chametz uMatzah, 3-6
  • Mishna Berurah # 440-471
  • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch # 112-117

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Jul 2005 / 4 Tamuz 5765 0