• 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. Free essay

    Judaism - history and major festivals.

    There are about 100,000 Jews in Australia and New Zealand combined. There are about 50,000 Jews in Asia. HALAKHAH- The word halakhah is usually translated as Jewish Law. Judaism is not just a set of belief about God man and the universe.

  1. Being Jewish in Britain today

    have support form your own small family while facing so much difficulty outside. However, if you were converted to be Jewish, life could be much harsher for the hardship you have to cope with away from home and find yourself unwelcome by the family when you get home because they reject you to be a Jew.

  2. Describe some of the different ways in which the Sabbath is observed in Jewish ...

    religion is a basis for the teaching of good morals and self-discipline. This would therefore mean that the family members can help each other achieve the same thing and would give to them a sense of belonging, which would outweigh the difficulties that they may come across in life.

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

    This was taken as a strong danger to the Egyptian nation. The tribe of Levi, whom Moses was born of, were the only group of Israelites who were spared the slavery and oppression imposed on the rest of the children of Israel.

  2. Explain the history and the symbolism of the festival of Passover

    The Israelites were saved from this by the marks on their doors and when the Pharaoh discovered his son was gone as well he let Moses' people go. When the Pharaoh had finally agreed to freedom, the Israelites left their homes so quickly that there wasn't even time to bake their bread.

  1. Judaism and Pesach (Passover).

    the wicked one, who excludes himself (and learns the penalty for doing so); the simple one, who needs to know the basics; and the one who is unable to ask, who doesn't even know enough to know what he needs to know.

  2. Describe the history and symbolism of the festival Pesach.

    'when I see blood I will pass over you' (exodus 12:13). This meant that the angel of death would 'Passover' these houses sparing the child inside. The Pharaoh gave into Moses because his son had been killed and begged Moses to take the Israelites away.

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