Print Сite this

Passover and the Four Questions

Introduction

The lord said to Moses, ” I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that he will let you go from here and when he does he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold”. At the midnight, the angel went, passed over the Israelites’ house but killed every first born of Egyptian. The following day marked the freedom of Israelites from slavery. The lord told Moses that the day and the month would mark the first month of every year. He told the Israelites to take a lamb on 10th day of that month for a sacrifice for each house, the lamb was to be kept up to the 14th day of the month and be slaughtered at twilight, the blood was to be sprinkled on the door frames and the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs and their cloak was to be tucked into their belt to be ready for the journey, they were also to wear their sandals and eat while standing. This was the Passover.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

The Passover

After the lord had stroked the firstborn of Egyptians, Pharaoh set them free. The lord told Moses to commemorate the day for the generations to come. This led to the formation of the four question that are asked during the passover. They were to celebrate the festivals to the lord. For the seven day, they were to eat bread made without yeast. The yeast was removed from the house on the first day and this was to be done for the first seven days. The Israelites were not to work, for seven days, except the preparation for food. (Debbie and Ann, 2006)

The Passover was to be celebrated with unleavened bread because it was the day that the lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt. This was to be done as a lasting ordinance for the coming generations.

These instruction were to be taken seriously when they had entered Canaan as they would help to keep the passover tradition. Passover sacrifice to the lord who passed over the house of Israelites in Egypt and spared their houses but struck down the Egyptians first born. This was the last of the ten plague ant the Egyptian king had to free the Israelites. This therefore led to the passover celebrations. The passover had to be celebrated every year by the Israelites as a commemoration of their life in Egypt.

The Set Up Of Celebration

During the Passover, the preparation is done earlier according to the tradition. The table is set in a clean and nice place. On the table the utensils made of silver are arranged according to the participant. The participants on the other hand put on nice clothes. The person leading this celebration have special clothes kittel (kittle is a white robe) and the person sits in a strategic place on the table to ensure that he sees everyone. At his place we have various foods symbolizing various issues in the Israelites life. These foods are to be eaten while the other are to be demonstrated each family member is given a copy of Haggadah. (Debbie and Ann, 2006)

In the first half of the Passover celebration, a plate and wine glass are used as utensils for the food and drink. Each person will have a matzot and dishes containing salt water. The salt water is used for dippy in the matzot. Each person is given a copy of Haggadah. Haggadah is a copy containing a complete Seder service and each person is expected to recite the words wrote on either in Aramaic or in Hebrew. Certain parts of the Haggadah are understood by the participant while other parts are not as per Halakham requirements. The Seder service as so called means excitation or arousing the curiosity of the children, the young child acts as a spectacle end the celebration makes the children asks several questions about the service. This brings out the four questions of the Passover. (Debbie and Ann, 2006) more than 80% of the Jewish celebrate this date. The three major holidays celebrated by Jewish includes the Passover which symbolizes historical and agricultural day. Agriculturally the Pesach means the beginning of the harvest although they do not value this much. They value the historical part of Pesach very much because it marked journey of freedom from the Egypt. (Exodus 1:1-15)

The word Pesach comes from Hebrew – Pei – Samekh- Chert meaning to pass through, to be spared to Passover. The meaning is that God spared the house of Israel when he was striking the firstborn of the Egyptian. Passover also means sacrificial offering of a lamb to the lord. This sacrificial was done in the temple of this day. The Passover is also called the spring holiday (chang he -aviv) or can be referred to as (festival of matzahs (or chag ha -matzot in Hebrew). It is also called the time of freedom (Zman cheiruteinun in Hebrew). These gives the festival a significance of its meaning and makes many Jewish and Christian to celebrate it.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

The passover and the four Questions

The four questions are asked during the celebration of the passover. In Hebrew the four question are know are known as “Ma Nishtana” with various spelling while translated in English. Ma Nishtana means “How is it different” or “what is different” in Hebrew. This is used to refer to the evening of passover and why and how it was different from the other evenings to the Israelites. The four questions are recited by the youngest member who is sitted at the table (seder). This is usually the youngest son and the questions are usually read aloud. Ma Nishtana or the four questions are actually one question which is followed up by several phrases. The phrases are short but captures a specific event during the passover. This story is captured in the passover Haggadah (passover book) which is normally given to every person at the table during the passover celebrations. The clauses or phrases brings out the uniqueness of the passover, this is in comparison to other times of the year.

The variations in structure, that is one question and four question is given in Mishna ( Pesachim 10:4). That is the question are asked by the youngest child to his father. The father then gives the answers depending on the understanding or intelligence of the child. During the middle ages a formal structure was developed by the Rabbis in order to give the answers to the child. This included using additional materials like table hymns and jingles in order to keep the children interested with the story. These additional materials were retrieved from the instructional manual given for conducting the passover, the instructional manual is called the passover Haddadah.

The main question that is asked is “why is the night so different?” This question is then followed by the four clauses. The aim of the instruction manual (passover Haggadah) is to keep the future generation interested with the passover and help them to ask more about the passover. After the question, the four clauses are now asked and this is done by the youngest person at the table. These phrases or questions include:

  1. Why do we eat matzoh during this night while all the other nights we eat eat either matzoh or bread?
  2. Why do we eat only bitter herbs during this night while other nights we eat other herbs.
  3. Why do we dip our herbs twice during this night while all the other nights we do not dip them even once?
  4. Why do we stay in a reclining position only during this night while all the other nights we either eat while sitting or reclining position?

The answers that are given for the four questions help to describe specific events that occurred during the passover. The answer also gives symbolic meaning of the events that took place during the passover. The first two answers help to remind the Israelites about their hard times and they symbolize the issues of slavery. The last two answers help to remind them about their victory and symbolize the gaining of their freedom.

What then are the answers to these four questions?

The first answer helps to reflect how the Israelites left in a hurry and thus they had no time to bake their bread or wait for it to rise. So they had to take the bread out of their ovens when they were still flat. Matzoh is also used symbolically to remind the Israelites about their hard times in Egypt and the hard life they led while they were in Egypt. This is because Matzoh is hard because it was prepared in a hurry. They also carried the matzoh to the desert to be a constant reminder of their hard life and the power of God. This is because god had save and rescued them out of Egypt.

The second answer helped to remind the Israelites about their bitter life in Egypt. This is why they had to take bitter herds only. This is bitterness that was caused by slavery in Egypt. The bitter herbs are supposed to remind the Israelites about the bitter life that their ancestors led in Egypt. Due to the bad treatment that they received from pharaoh and the hard labor that their ancestors endured. For instance their ancestors used to work very hard for the Egyptians and pharaoh did not appreciate this but became more cruel. This can be captured in the killing of the first born males of the Israelites. So during the passover they had to eat the bitter herbs to remind them of the cruel treatment that they got from the Egyptians.

We will write a custom
essays
specifically
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

The third answer is given to symbolize the glory that the Israelites got from God. The Israelites had to dip twice, first they dip the vegetables in salt water, to symbolize that God is going to replace their tears with gratefulness. The salt water is used to represent their tears that they shed while in Egypt. The second dip, they dip into Charoses ( a mixture of sweet nuts and wine) to symbolize the sweetening of their life. And their pain will be lessened. This symbolizes a new and sweet life for the Israelites.

The fourth answer is used to symbolize their freedom. This is because traditionally a person reclines to indicate that he/she is free. Therefore the Israelites had to remain reclined to symbolize that they are free from slavery and the hard life that they encountered in Egypt.

The fourth question was replaced, traditionally the wording of this question was why do we have to eat roasted meat only while other nights we eat boiled roasted and stewed meat. The term meat was in reference to the sacrificing of the lamb during the passover. But the theory of sacrificing the lamb was abandoned and replaced with the sitting position, that is reclining. Reclining during that time was practiced by the wealthy and those who had the time to do so such as kings. But reclining gained a different meaning to symbolize freedom.

The four questions have some form of confusion between slavery and freedom. this was used in order to arouse the curiosity in children. But also due the way in which the exodus from Egypt was done in a hurry.

Celebration of Passover in the Desert

In the second year, the first month of the year after coming out of Egypt, the lord told Moses to tell the Israelites to celebrate the Passover. This was to be done on the 14th day of the month. The Israelites were in the desert of Sinai. They celebrated the Passover at the twilight in accordance to the rules and regulations the people who were unclean because of the dead relatives or had gone away for the journey; they were also allowed to celebrate the Passover. They had to celebrate by eating a lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were not to leave any of the food until the morning nor were they allowed to break any of its bones.

Any person who was ceremonially clean and was not on a journey and failed to celebrate the Passover, the person was to be stoned to death because he didn’t obey the lord by offering to the lord at the appointed time. The man was also to bear the consequences of this he/she had committed and an alien who lived among the Israelites and wanted to celebrate the Passover was also allowed to celebrate in accordance to the rules and regulations. This rules also applied to the native born person. (Numbers 9:1-14) the restriction of the Passover in the Egypt was that no foreigner was to eat of it. The slaves who were brought in Israelites were allowed to eat the Passover on the conditions that they were circumcised. A temporary resident and any hired worker were not allowed to eat of it. The Passover was to be eaten inside the house. Any Alien who was allowed to eat had to circumcise all males in his household. (Debbie and Ann, 2006)

Law Concerning Passover

When Israelites were in desert, God instructed Moses concerning the Passover. The Passover was to be held on the 14th day of the month. On the fifteenth day of that month, they were to have a festival. On the first day no work had to be done except cooking food followed by seven days of unleavened bread. They had to present to the lord a burnt offering of the two young bulls, one ram and the other one year old seven lambs without any defects. The bulls were to be prepared each with a grain offering (3/10 of an ephah) of time flows mixed with oil. The ram was to prepared with2/10 of grain offering mixed with oil while the seven lambs were prepared using 1/10 of ephah grain offering mixed with oil. The male goat was then to be offered as a sin offering for atoriement. These were additional to the morning burnt offering. The food was prepared using fire for seven days and it meant to be aroma pleasing to God. The seven day marked a sacred assembly and nobody was allowed to work. (Debbie and Ann, 2006)

The Jewish Passover

Peach is a word in the Jewish meaning Passover. It is celebrated in March or April according to Gregorian calendar. The 8th night of the 15th day, a month of Nissan according to the Hebrew, it’s the day of Passover.

Need a
100% original paper
written from scratch

by professional
specifically for you?
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Pesach is one of the holidays which are observed by Jewish strictly, according to the research; more than 80% of the Jewish celebrate this date. The three major holidays celebrated by Jewish includes the Passover which symbolizes historical and agricultural day. Agriculturally the Pesach means the beginning of the harvest although they do not value this much. They value the historical part of Pesach very much because it marked journey of freedom from the Egypt. (Exodus 1:1-15)

The word Pesach comes from Hebrew – Pei – Samekh- Chert meaning to pass through, to be spared to Passover. The meaning is that God spared the house of Israel when he was striking the firstborn of the Egyptian. Passover also means sacrificial offering of a lamb to the lord. This sacrificial was done in the temple of this day. The Passover is also called the spring holiday (chang he -aviv) or can be referred to as (festival of matzahs (or chag ha -matzot in Hebrew). It is also called the time of freedom (Zman cheiruteinun in Hebrew). These gives the festival a significance of its meaning and makes many Jewish and Christian to celebrate it.

Conclusion

Passover a Celebration of Jewish and Christian is a celebration of liberty. The slave way of life is remembered on this day and the freedom is celebrated. Some tradition Jewish still celebrates this ceremony in an old system of rules and regulation, while the Christian celebrate it in a new way as shown by Jesus.

As the old system, Jewish remember the way they were in Egypt, a land of slavery. They celebrate the system on Old Testament teachings. They sacrifice lambs and sprinkle the blood on the door and eat roasted meat and unleavened baked bread. Christian on the other hand use the New Testament way of teaching. They believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God and follow his teaching. They celebrate this by taking bread as a remembrance of his body, and wine as a remembrance of his blood. The Christian do not sacrifice the lamb as they believe that Christ is the Lamb of God.

In summary, the four questions asked on Passover are based on the remembrance of the slavery way of life and the change that took place into the freedom. The four questions are important because they help to preserve the culture of the Israelites.

Work Cited Source

Debbie, H. and Ann, K. More Than Matzah: A Passover Feast of Fun, Facts, and Activities, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2006.

Mary Antin. The Promised Land, New York: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Robert E. Tornberg. The Jewish Educational Leader’s Handbook, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Azamra, Torah of our time. Web.

Happy Passover. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2021, September 20). Passover and the Four Questions. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2021, September 20). Passover and the Four Questions. https://studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/

Work Cited

"Passover and the Four Questions." StudyCorgi, 20 Sept. 2021, studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Passover and the Four Questions." September 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Passover and the Four Questions." September 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2021. "Passover and the Four Questions." September 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/passover-and-the-four-questions/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Passover and the Four Questions'. 20 September.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.