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The Jewish Passover Meal or seder

Seder meal
Matzos, charoset and wine: elements of a Jewish Passover Meal or seder 
Photo: © Gwen Paget

A Memorial Meal To Celebrate Deliverance From Bondage

When God liberated his chosen people the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, he ordered them to celebrate their deliverance with a meal. This meal was to commemorate how the angel of death had passed over all Israelite households, where the blood of a spotless lamb had been sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel. [ See EXODUS Chapters 11-12.]

The Modern Seder

The Passover Meal, or seder, is celebrated by devout Jews to this day.

The words of the modern seder begin with a question read by the youngest member of the family:  
" Why is this night different from all other nights?"  

It is a visual aid and memorial of the events that are commemorated  -
•  three pieces of unleavened bread or matzos, as a reminder of the
    unleavened bread at the exodus
•  bitter herbs and salt water  - a reminder of the bitterness of their
   slavery in Egypt
•  charoset or mixture of grated apple, cinnamon, nuts, raisins and wine  -
   the colour of the clay they used as slaves to make bricks in Egpyt
•  four cups of red wine (or grape juice), based on the four promises God
   made about their redemption from slavery in EXODUS 6:6-7                      
  shankbone of roast lamb for the Passover lamb whose blood was sprinkled
   on the house lintel & doorposts so the angel of death would pass by
 an egg, symbolising sorrow and mourning of eastern funerals
   (as well as new life for Christians)

Spiritual Markers: Reminders Of God's Faithfulness

These different elements are reminders of God's deliverance of his children from bondage and their travel to freedom in the land he had promised Abraham several centuries earlier. It is a memorial of God's covenant with his Chosen People.


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