• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the history and symbolism of the festival of Pesach.

Extracts from this document...


Describe the history and symbolism of the festival of Pesach Joseph and his brothers died, and the children of Israel multiplied in the land of Egypt. They held important positions and played an important role in the political, cultural, and economic life of the country. It is not surprising that they stirred the jealousy of the native Egyptians who felt outshone by the "foreigners." The old pharaoh died and a new one took his place. He had no sympathy for the children of Israel. He decided to take action against the growing influence and numbers of the children of Israel. He bought his council together, and they enslaved the Jews before they grew too powerful. Pharaoh limited the personal freedom of the Hebrews. He put heavy taxes on them, forced them to work for him under the supervision of harsh taskmasters. King Pharaoh saw that forcing the Hebrews to do hard work did not succeed in suppressing their rapidly growing numbers, he decided that every newly born boy of the Hebrews be thrown into the Nile River. Only daughters should be permitted to live. ...read more.


In the middle of the Seder table, three pieces of Matzoh are put in a Matzoh cover. On the Seder table the Seder plate is placed. It holds 6 foods that represent the suffering of the slaves and their quest for freedom. Zeroa is a shankbone or neck of poultry, which is roasted and put on the Seder plate. The zeroa is a reminder of the "mighty arm of God" and it also symbolizes the Paschal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in Temple days. Matzah is flat, dry, unleavened bread. When the Israelites left Egypt, they did not have time to wait for their dough to rise. Jews eat matzah, instead of bread, during the week of Passover to remember the exodus of the Jewish slaves from Egypt. Maror are the bitter herbs, such as horseradish root or prepared horseradish, which is placed on the seder plate to remind the Jews of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. Karpas is a vegetable, like parsley or a potato, which is placed on the Seder plate. Karpas is dipped in salt water to represent tears of the Israelite slaves. ...read more.


"Festivals are the best way to learn about your faith." There are lots of different ways to learn about your faith. And a festival is just one of them. Young people may go to a youth club and be taught by a Rabbi with other people their age to make the experience more enjoyable. Also people could read the Sefer Torah and learn from what is written by prophets. Family can teach about what they know of their religion and pass it onto you. A service a synagogue would teach someone a section of what is written in the Torah in each section and therefore they could find the particular part of the Torah that was useful to them, for example if someone was searching for the exodus they would read the Exodus part of the Torah. There are many different activities run in the synagogue where someone could learn about their religion for example youth groups, play groups for young children. Festivals are also an excellent way of learning about that section of the faith and they involve each person so this may seem a more interesting way of learning. From a Jewish child's point of view a festival such as Pesach with Elijah's cup and the table shaking would be very captivating for a child. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Judaism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Judaism essays

  1. Pesach is the biggest of the three pilgrim festivals, along with Sukkot and Shavuot ...

    The most important, and youngest, child in the story of Passover was Moses. Moses was one of the sons of the Israelites who Pharaoh had commanded was thrown into the river. The daughter of the Pharaoh saw this basket among the reeds and sent her maids to fetch it.

  2. Judaism and Pesach (Passover).

    The new pharaoh knew little about Joseph and his family and cared less for their misfortunes. However many years later the country of Egypt was thrown into economic turmoil and most of their vast empire was crumbling. There was also widespread unemployment.

  1. Passover - History and Events

    Maror: usually a type of horseradish with a bitter taste. This represents the bitter feelings of the Israelites. Hazeret: commonly known as lettuce; a vegetable which starts off tasting pleasant but eventually may leave an aftertaste in the mouth. This is just like the attitudes of God's people to living in Egypt.

  2. Being Jewish in Britain today

    Luckily, most Jews are born as Jewish. Although Jewish lives is not as difficult as it used to be - since 1898, freedom of worship has been propose officially but putting up a law like this would not take away people's unfriendliness towards Jews.

  1. Pesach, or Passover, the oldest holiday, celebrates the beginning of the Jewish people.

    below: - There's No Seder Like our Seder (sung to the tune of "There's no Business like Show business")

  2. The Shabbat is a festival, which is celebrated from sunset on Friday night until ...

    Rites of Passages are times in your life, which are remembered with a celebration. These are special for all Jews and they enjoy sharing them with their family. I don't really think there are many negative sides to sharing Rites of Passages with your family, as they are special times

  1. Free essay

    Judaism - history and major festivals.

    The vast majority of these Jews live in either the United States or Israel, each with approximately 5-6 million Jews. There are less than 2 million Jews in Europe, 400,000 in Latin America and 350,000 in Canada. In Africa, there are less than 100,000 Jews, about 90% of whom live in the country of South Africa.

  2. Y Synagogue: "Ty cwrdd, Ty Gweddi, Ty Dysg"

    O ganlyniad i hyn, mae'r Iddew yn ei chael hi'n anodd i fyw yn y gymdeithas Brydeinig. Engrhaifft o hyn oedd pan ryddhawydd y ffilm BORAT yn ddiweddar. Roedd y ffilm yn cynnwys llawer o hiliaeth tuag at Iddewon ac o ganlyniad, gorfododd llys barn y cwmni cynhyrchu i dalu iawndal i'r gymdeithas Iddewig.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work