• 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. Being Jewish in Britain today

    Losing the warmth from you original family as well as bear the load of being a Jew facing other non-Jew on your own is a very difficult situation and is probably the harshest thing anyone could face; let alone getting support form your own originally family.

  2. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    The leader of the seder hides the afikomen, and the children hunt for it. When they find it, the leader asks for it back, and the children bargain for a treat before they return it. Songs Many songs are sung at Pesach, from traditional Dayenu, to the more modern songs

  1. 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.

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

    religion, and then there are Orthodox Jews who follow the torah, Shema and Mitzvot and make sure they don't break any of the rules. Judaism concentrates on obedience and so all Jews, whether they are Liberal or Orthodox are especially keen on following guidelines and obeying the rules of Judaism.

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