The Rapture Series
Why Do you Believe? What Do you Believe? How Do You Believe? Who Do You Believe?
“Reason to Believe
By (Greg Killian)
Pesach, Hebrew for Passover, begins on the fifteenth day of the first month. The festival lasts for seven (eight days in the diaspora) days, in Israel, and ends on the 21st (22nd for those in the diaspora) day of the first month, for those who live in eretz Israel. The following list shows the dates for Pesach for the next few years (Remember we start at sundown on the day before the following dates):
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Strong’s defines the word Pesach, from its first usage in Torah, as:
6453 pecach, peh'-sakh; from 6452; a pretermission, i.e. exemption; used only tech. of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim):-Passover (offering).
---------------- Dictionary Trace ----------------
6452 pacach, paw-sakh'; a prim. root; to hop, i.e. (fig.) skip over (or spare); by impl. to hesitate; also (lit.) to limp, to dance:-halt, become lame, leap, pass over.
On Pesach we celebrate the liberation of HaShem’s people from Egyptian slavery and, together with it, the liberation from, and negation of the ancient Egyptian system and way of life, the "abominations of Egypt." Thus we celebrate our physical liberation together with our spiritual freedom. Indeed, there cannot be one without the other: there can be no real freedom without accepting the precepts of our Torah guiding our daily life; pure and holy living eventually leads to real freedom.
Pesach is first and foremost among the festivals in the Jewish calendar. The Talmud refers to Pesach as the Rosh HaShana (Head of the year) of the festivals. Calling this the “Head” is very appropriate; as the body’s ability to function is derived from the head, so the essence and the sanctity of all the festivals is derived from the festival of Pesach. Thus we need to carefully learn and understand the meaning of Pesach, and its requirements, in order to understand the other festivals.
Chag HaPesach (Shemot [Exodus] 34:25)
("the Feast of Passover")
Chag HaMatzot (Shemot [Exodus] 23:15)
("the Feast of Unleavened Bread")
Chag HaCherutenu (Mishna Pesachim 10:5)
("the Feast of Our Liberation")
Chag HaAbib (Devarim [Deuteronomy] 16:1)
("the Feast of Spring")
The Torah frequently calls this festival: Chag HaMatzot, yet the Jewish people frequently call it Pesach. Why this dichotomy? The Kedushat Levi (Parashat Bo) answers this question by telling us the we ate matza because we left in such a hurry that the bread did not have time to rise. Thus, in spite of the lack of provisions, we still followed HaShem into the wilderness.
Yeremiyahu (Jeremiah) 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith HaShem; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
Thus HaShem focuses on the matzot to praise us for our love and emunah (faithfulness) for Him. We call it Pesach to praise HaShem for passing over us, and thereby choosing us, on that fatefull Passover in Egypt. Thus it is fitting that HaShem should call it Chag HaMatzot to praise His people, and that the Jewish people should call it Pesach to praise HaShem.
One of the major festivals in the Torah is Pesach. It is a holiday of rejoicing when Jews all over the world recall their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The word Passover comes from the idea that HaShem passed over the houses of the Israelites, who had marked their doorposts to signify that they were children of HaShem. This way the firstborn sons of Israel were spared when HaShem smote the firstborn sons of the Egyptian taskmasters on the eve of the Exodus. The sons of Israel were thus redeemed from the land of sin, Egypt, and redeemed from Pharaoh to serve HaShem.
Shavuot is the conclusion of Pesach. On Shavuot the entire congregation of Israel stood before HaShem as converts to receive the Torah. Our conversion began four days before Pesach when we were circumcised. The Pesach lamb could only be eaten by those who were circumcised. Because of this requirement, Pesach is THE festival of the convert. All the other festivals can be celebrated by Gentiles. Only the partaking of the Pesach lamb was denied to the Gentiles. Thus, when a new convert joins the nation of Israel, Pesach will be the ultimate festival, the festival that demonstrates his covenantal relationship.
As the nation of Israel was birthed from the crucible of Egypt, on Pesach, so the righteous Gentiles who undergo conversion are born on Pesach. Their birth joins them to the nation of Israel on Pesach.
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