Preparing for Passover

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by jocose, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Passover is a Jewish holiday that occurs in the spring. It celebrates the Exodus from Egypt as told in the eponymous book of the Torah. In a nutshell, Moses came to the Pharaoh and asked if he, Moses, could take the Israelites out into the desert to teach them about his god. The Pharaoh said no, and Moses, with divine intervention, brought 10 plagues upon the Pharaoh and his people. At this point, Moses demanded that Pharaoh let the Israelites go, and the Pharaoh agreed. Because the Israelites weren’t expecting the 10th time to go any differently than the 9 previous requests, they sort of blew Moses off and started baking bread (because what else does one do while there is pestilence, frogs, blood, and a host of other plagues plaguing your neighbors?). Because the Israelites were surprised by the Pharaoh’s sudden acquiescence to Moses’ demand to let his people go, the bread they were baking did not have time to rise, and they had to flee with unleavened bread.

    Each year since the Exodus, Jews have celebrated their redemption from bondage by observing Passover. As part of the preparation for the holiday, observant Jews clean their house of all foods that are not kosher for Passover (that is, foods that contain proscribed items such as wheat, barley, and beans). Once the house is completely clean of leavened foods, several pieces of bread are “hidden” around the house (because the house is clean—most likely from where the idea of “spring cleaning” comes—the pieces of bread are usually wrapped in foil or a bag). The children then “search” the house with a candle (to look in every crevice) to find any last pieces of leavened food that might still be around.

    Once these pieces of “hidden” bread are found and collected, they are burned to symbolize the complete destruction of the leavened food, and a special prayer is said that states that if, even after the cleaning and the searching, any leavened bread is still left in the house, the cleaners have done due diligence to find every crumb.

    As I walked through Meah Shearim in Jerusalem on the Friday before the Passover holiday began, I saw the hustle-bustle of families buying last-minute items for their seders (the liturgical meal that every observant Jew in the world performs every Passover); saw women sweeping their stoops, patios, and balconies; and young children performing the ritual of burning the leavened food.

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  2. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    great shots and story!
     
  3. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much.
     
  4. crh428

    crh428 TPF Noob!

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    Just so you know, though... Passover is also recognized by Christians, as the plagues happened long before Christianity seperated from Judaism...

    My point is it's not just a Jewish holiday, like Hannukah is...
     
  5. SBlanca

    SBlanca TPF Noob!

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    great photos! hows about trying some as b+w
     
  6. peterbj7

    peterbj7 TPF Noob!

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    Do Muslims also celebrate it?
     
  7. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Sblanca, I did play with B/W, but I didn't really like them that way. I think that the smoke and the color of the flames need to be there...if that makes sense.

    As far as I know Muslims do not celebrate Passover. Likewise, I do not believe that Catholics or any of the mainline Protestant denominations celebrate Passover either. I do have some Born Again Christian and Messianic friends who perform a seder as the Last Supper was likely a seder.

    Also, my Messianic friends do celebrate Chanukah, as well as Passover, as they believe that Jesus would have done the same.

    Hope that clarifies things.
     
  8. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    Nice photos, the only thing that disappoints me is that it looks like a plastic garbage bag he's burning the leavened food in. Didn't anyone ever tell him that makes bad smoke???
     
  9. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Yea, I caught that too...actually, when I first took the pic, I thought I was capturing some hoodlums who had started a fire and were being bad. Then I realized what they were doing (and noticed that there were several fires buring all around the neighborhood--and into the next as well). Yes, he should be using a paper bag...not that any of it is particularly good for the environment.
     

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