Friday, April 22, 2011

Pasover Celebration

Last night I attended a Passover Celebration.  We went through a condensed version of the passover supper.  This is information from that service.  This is a converted Jewish celebration.  For a true Jewish celebration, omit any reference to return of Messiah.  This is the basic information.  Tomorrow we will explain some of the details.

The Passover celebration lasts from 4-6 hours.  Every element of the supper is symbolic of something spiritual.  Before the passover began, the house was completely cleaned to be sure all yeast or leavin was removed from the house.  Exodus 12: 14-20.  This is called Bedikat Chametz.  It has probably been carried over as Spring Cleaning.

Call to Worship  Focuses our hearts to God and the purpose of the celebration.

Birkat Ha-Ner  (Blessing Over the Candles)  Separates (sanctifies) this meal as a memorial to God's mircles of the Passover in Egypt.

Urchatz (Washing the Hands)  Ritual cleansing in preparation to eat.

Karpas (Eating of Greens)  Symbolizes renewal through rebirth.

Yachatz (Breaking the Matzoh)  Remembers the bread of affliction.  Hiding the "afikoman" to be shared later.  Eating the egg:  symbolizes destruction of the Temple.

Maggid (Recounting the Exodus Story)    Four Questions:  (asked by children)  recognizes the difference in this celebration.  Four Sons:  Symbolizes different attutudes to God's salvation.  Ten Plagues:  Recounts the 10 plagues God brought on Egypt.  Dayenu: recounts God's many acts of kindness.  The three essentials:  Pasach/ Matzoh/ Maror.  The cup of Deliverance:  Commemorates deliverence from Egypt.

Rachtzah (Washing the Hands)  Prepares for Motzi, Matzoh, Maror, Korech (Eating the elements).  Motzi:  Blessing the...  Matzoh:  Eat the Matzoh,  Maror: Eating the matzoh with bitter herbs.

Shulchan Orech (Table is Spread)  Eat the meal.  Remembers the Passover meal of Messiah.  Dramatic Reading:  Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

Tzaphun (Retrieving the Aflkoman)  Children hunt for hidden Aflkoman.  Introudces first element of communion.  Carried over to hunting Easter eggs?? 

Barech (Blessing for the Meal)  The Cup of Redemption:  commemorates God's plan of redemption, second element of Communion.  Elijah's Place:  recognizes work and warnings of Elijah.

Hallel (Songs of Praise)  Psalms 115-118, 136  continues to affirm faith in God.  Cup of Praise:  exalts God for His salvation from Egypt and from sin.

Nirtzah (Our observation is Accepted)  Completes Seder.  Next Year in Jerusalem:  Calls for Messiah's speedy return.
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