Written By:Debra Franklin

     

 Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation and exodus of the ancient Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt toward freedom and nationhood; and is combined with the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag Matzot), Bread of Redemption. 

Passover is celebrated in early spring, during the month of March/April. In Hebrew it is known as the month of Abib as it states in the Bible (Torah): Deuteronomy 16:1-8

“Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God; for in the month of Abib the Lord your God (YHWH Eloheim) brought you out of Egypt by night”. 

“You shall therefore sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord your God shall choose to place his name there”.

You shall eat no leaven bread with it; seven days shall you eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste; that you may remember the day you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life”.

“And there shall be no leaven bread seen with you in all your border seven days; neither shall there anything of the meat which you sacrificed the first day at the evening, remain all night until the morning”.

“You may not sacrifice the Passover inside any of your gates, which the Lord your God gives you;”

“But at the place which the Lord your God shall choose to place his name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at the evening, at the going down of the sun, in the season when you came out of Egypt”.

And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God shall choose; and you shall turn in the morning and go into your tents.  

Six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God; you shall do no work in it”

As told in the Bible, after many decades of slavery under the Egyptian Pharaohs, during 

which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, God 

(Yah) saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My 

people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed 

God’s (Yah’s ) command. Eloheim then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them 

and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.

At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), Go

visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, 

God spared the children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holyday. 

Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The 

Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not 

have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left 

Egypt on that day and began the long journey to Mount Sinai and their birth as a nation and 

God’s chosen people (aish.org). Though the Israelites endured centuries of slavery they 

continued to cry unto YHWH, Eloheim for deliverance and He heard their cries and delivered the 

Hebrew Israelites (African American) from slavery to freedom. Today Israelites are obedient to 

YHWH by following the holy day of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:1-

20; Leviticus 23:4-8; Deut. 16:1-8, 2 Chronicles 35:17, Ezra 6:19) and not the pagan holiday of 

Easter, which is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. 

Prior to Passover, a thorough cleaning of your home especially your kitchen, to search 

for Chametz, which is leaven or food or drinks mixed with leaven or leavening agents (yeast, 

baking soda, soda bicarbonate etc.) and is removed from the home. 

The holy day of Passover is marked by a meaningful service designed to give each 

Hebrew Israelite the experience from going from slavery into freedom. Most families or 

Temples begin with prayer, praise and worship. Next, there is the retelling of the Exodus story 

(Exodus chapters 7-13). Then there is the recounting of the ten plagues. The eating of Maror, 

bitter herbs to remind one of the bitter slavery endured in Egypt. Next, Matzah is eaten, which 

is flat unleavened bread, the bread of our redemption.  Finally, a festive meal which includes 

matzah is eaten and lamb by some as a memorial to the sacrificial lamb mentioned in the story 

of Passover. Most families or temples close with prayer and reciting” “Next year in Jerusalem.” 

For the next six days, Hebrews celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread and refrain 

from eating foods or drinks that contain chametz, leavening agents.  Also, you are mandated to 

eat matzah each day. On the seventh day is a holy convocation and the close of the Feast of 

Unleavened Bread.  

Passover combined with the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a beautiful meaningful Holy 

day mandated by the God of Israel to keep throughout our generations.  As Hebrews, we want 

to do the will of the Most High and keep his holy commandments and precepts.