Jewish Passover Research Paper

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Judaism is one of the Abrahamic religions, but it is not only a religion; it is also recognized as a culture or way of life. It is widespread across the world and currently has well over 10 million followers. Judaism is a religion that is based on practice and rituals, including observing the Sabbath and other holy days. One of the annual celebrations is Passover, which is also known as “the festival of unleavened bread,” and sometimes called Pesach. The Jewish Passover has fundamental connections to the aspects of scripture, history and agriculture. The Jewish scripture, the Torah, explains the religious importance of Passover through the book of Exodus and the story of deliverance. The historical importance of the Passover is evident through…show more content…
The Passover is innately connected to Jewish life through the existing scripture, but its religious significance plays an equal role with the historical accounts and agricultural origins in its development. In “The Sabbath Worship: The Jewish Feast of Passover”, Oliver McQuillan examines the Biblical connections of the Jewish Passover. He retraces the origins of Passover: “This feast takes place in the first month of the Jewish calendar, Nissan, occurring in March/April” (2009, 213). Passover is distinct from other festivals because it celebrates the departure and freedom of the Israelites from Egypt, where they were kept as slaves. The Israelites were not only freed from Egypt, by spared from a plague that killed many Egyptians. McQuillan states, “The feast itself is commanded by Exodus: ‘And this day shall be for a memorial: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance’. The Lord ‘passed over’ those houses which were marked with the blood of a lamb when he was slaying the first-born of the Egyptians” (213). For the Jewish population, the Passover is quite simply praising the Lord and celebrating that they were not killed in this plague. Furthermore, McQuillan argues the celebration of…show more content…
Martin Blaser’s article “Passover and Plague” discusses all three aspects, but focuses specifically on agricultural connections to the Passover, with some logical inferences from history. His argument contends that the tenth plague of Egypt was most likely an outbreak from disease Y. pestis among rats, which led to the plague. However, Blaser suggests that it is the religious performance of preparing for the Passover by removing any stored grain that prevents the Israelites from contracting the disease that he argues killed the first-borns of Egyptians. He states that the “complete removal of grain and food wastes from the household prior to the expected seasonal peak for plague [is] a process that curtails or minimizes local rodent populations. As a result, a Jewish community would be expected to be at diminished risk for epidemic plague” (1998, 243). Because the stored grain would have been destroyed or sold, there would be no food source for rats to contaminate with the disease, which would then spread to humans and cause deaths. This action lends to the historical outcome of lives being spared, and is then reinterpreted as a story of God’s favour to the Israelites, which leads to the identity formation of Jewish people. Furthermore, Blaser creates an agricultural connection to the

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