Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2011

Apr 04, 2011 1 Comment by

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (ret.)

The author of this article Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is an insider on US-Israel relations, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel’s high tech. He is a consultant to members of the Israeli Cabinet and Knesset, and regularly briefs US legislators and their staff. A graduate of UCLA and undergraduate at UTEP, he served amongst other things, as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.
He provides excellent comments at his website
You can also reach him on Twitter

Take time to read and study the details provided by Ambassador Ettinger. They are quite amazing.

(Based on Jewish Sages)

1. “Next Year in the Reconstructed Jerusalem” concludes the annual reciting of the Passover Saga. How pertinent in April 2011, when the Jewish State is pressured to refrain from building all over Jerusalem – the indivisible capital of the Jewish People for the last 3,300 years!

2. Passover’s centrality in Judaism: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” The first of the Ten Commandments refers to the Exodus and not to the Creation. The remembrance of the Passover Saga (via daily prayers) and the annual family reciting of the Exodus – on the eve of Passover – are among the 613 Laws of Moses. Passover is highlighted in most Jewish prayers and rituals, such as the welcoming of the Sabbath, the blessing over the wine, during each holiday, upon circumcision, at the door step (Mezuzah) of Jewish homes, etc.

3. Passover’s centrality in the American ethos, inspiring the Puritans, the Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers. The Pilgrims considered Britain “modern day Egypt,” King Charles was “the modern day Pharaoh,” the sail through the Atlantic Ocean was “the modern day parting of the Sea” and America was “the modern day Promised Land.” John Locke, the author the first draft of the constitution of the Carolinas, considered the 613 Laws of Moses to be the ideal legal foundation of the new society in America. Adams, Jefferson and Franklin proposed the Parting of the Sea as the official US seal. The role model of Washington and Adams were Moses and Joshua. Yale University President, Ezra Stiles (May 8, 1783): “Moses, the man of God, assembled three million people – the number of people in America in 1776.” “Let my people go” became the pillar of fire of the anti-slavery and human rights movements in the US and beyond. President Calvin Coolidge: “The Hebraic mortars cemented the foundations of American democracy” (May 3, 1925).

4. Moses, the hero of Passover, has become a role model of faith, principle and endurance-driven leadership for global and (especially) American leaders. Moses’ name is mentioned only once in the Passover Hagadah, as a servant of God, a testimony to Moses’ humility, in order to humanize – and not deify – Moses, while highlighting God’s centrality in the Exodus. Similarly, Moses’ grave site is purposely unknown, and the only compliment accorded by the Torah to Moses is “the humblest/meekest of all human beings.”
The Mosaic legacy has greatly impacted the US democracy. Hence, Moses’ marble replica towers at the House Chamber on Capitol Hill (facing the Speaker), at the Rayburn House Office Building’s subway station and above the table of the Justices at the US Supreme Court.
John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts: “God has entered into a Covenant with those who are on their way to wilderness in America, just as he had entered into Covenant with the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai (A 1630 sermon on the Arbella).”
The term Federalism is based on “Foedus,” the Latin word for “The Covenant.” The Founding Fathers were inspired by the political structure of the semi-independent 12 Tribes, which were governed by tribal presidents/governors and by Moses (the Commander-in-Chief), Aaron, Joshua and the 70 person Legislature, a role model for the 13 colonies and the US democracy.
The Exodus is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, equal to the 50 years of Jubilee, a pivot of liberty (“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” Leviticus, 25:10, inscribed on the Liberty Bell). 50 days following the Exodus, Moses received the Torah, which
includes – according to Jewish tradition – 50 gates of Wisdom. Where does that leave the 50 States?!

5. David Ben Gurion, the Founding Father of the Jewish State (UN Commission, 1947): “300 years ago, the Mayflower launched its historical voyage. How many remember the exact data of the voyage, how many passengers were on the Mayflower and what kind of bread did they consume? However, 3,300 years earlier, the Exodus from Egypt took place. Every Jew knows the date of the Exodus – 15th of the Jewish month of Nissan – and the kind of bread – Matza, unleavened bread – consumed. Until today, Jews all over the world tell the story of the Exodus and eat Matza on the 15th of Nissan.
They conclude the story of the Exodus (Hagadah) with the statement: “This year we are slaves, but next year we shall be liberated; this year we are here, but next year in the reconstructed Jerusalem.”

6. Passover highlights the centrality of Liberty, Roots, Education and Collective Responsibility. Passover commemorates the creation of the Jewish People and their deliverance from slavery to liberty. The difference between the spelling of Ge’oolah (deliverance in Hebrew – גאולה) and Golah (Diaspora in Hebrew – גולה) is the first Hebrew letter, Alef – א, the root of the Alpha-Bet. Alef is the first letter in the Hebrew spelling of critical root values: God, Father, Mother, Truth, Faith, Covenant, Credibility, Awesome, Power, Abraham, Light, Love, Soil, Adam Courage, Spring, Unity, Food, Responsibility, Immortality/Everlasting, Cure, Horizon,
Patrimony, Tree, etc. In order to attain and to safeguard liberty, one must be well-connected to one’s roots.
Passover – the role model of liberty – interacts with Shavou’ot/Pentecost – the role model of morality – since Liberty Morality are mutually-inclusive.
The Liberty/Morality interdependence distinguishes Western democracies from rogue regimes. Herut – חרות – is the Hebrew word for Liberty and Harut – חרות – is the Hebrew word for inscription, which refers to the Ten Commandments and to the value of liberty, which is carved in stone – an
inalienable right!

7. Passover highlights the fact that the Jewish People have been passed-over by history’s angel of death, in defiance of conventional wisdom. Non-normative salvation has characterized Jewish history ever since the Exodus, the Parting of the Sea, the destruction of the Temples, the exiles,the pogroms, the expulsions, the Holocaust, Communist and other forms of anti-Semitism, on-going Arab/Muslim terrorism and wars, etc. Adherence to the principle-driven and tenacious-defiance-of-odds legacy of Moses, Aaron, Phineas, Joshua, Caleb and Nachshon (the first to step into the Red Sea) constitutes the prerequisite to Jewish deliverance.

8. The Exodus took place around 1,300BC, 600-700 years before Greek philosophers promoted democracy, establishing the Jewish People in the forefront in the Battle of Civilizations between democracies and rogue regimes. Passover is celebrated on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan – the first month of the Jewish year and the introduction of natural and national spring (Nitzan is the Babylonian word for spring and the Hebrew word for bud). Nissan (its root is Ness – miracle in Hebrew) is the month of miracles, such as the Exodus, the Parting of the Sea, Jacob wrestling the Angel, Deborah’s victory over Sisera, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, etc. The 15th day of any Jewish month is endowed with full moon, which stands for optimism in defiance of darkness and awesome odds. It is consistent with the 15 parts of the Hagadah (the chronicles of Passover), 15 generations between Abraham’s message of monotheism and Solomon’s construction of the first Temple and the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, Arbor Day – the “Exodus” of vegetation.

9. Passover has four names: The holiday of Pesach (Passed-over; sacrifice), the holiday of liberty, the holiday of Matza and the holiday of spring. The number 4 features in the Passover Saga: 4 Sons, 4 glasses of wine, 4 Questions and 4 stages of divine deliverance. The 4th Hebrew letter (Dalet) stands for G-D.

10. Passover commemorates Joseph, son of Jacob, the Deputy King of Egypt, who earned a next-to-Patriarch status. The fulfillment of the divine promise to Abraham, that his descendants would be enslaved and then liberated, was initiated upon Joseph’s enslavement. In the spirit of Passover (4), Joseph experienced four enslavements: twice to the Midianties, once to the Ishmaelites and once in Egypt. Just like the People of Israel, Joseph surged from slavery to deliverance, enhancing the quality of life of human-beings at-large. Just like the four cups of wine on the eve of Passover, the word cup is mentioned four times by Pharaoh’s jailed wine-butler when recounting his dream to Joseph.

11. Passover is the first Jewish holiday, according to the Jewish calendar, which starts in the spring (Aviv in Hebrew – אביב – which consists of two Hebrew words: Father – אב – of 12 – יב – months), the bud of nature. The word spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to the Exodus. Passover – which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation – lasts for 7 days, just like the creation of the universe. Passover is the first of three Jewish pilgrimages, succeeding Soukkot/Tabernacles (Soukkota was the first stop in the Exodus) and preceding Shavou’ot/Pentecost (which commemorates the receipt of the Ten Commandments and the Torah).

12. Passover – just like monotheism, the Sabbath, Ten Commandments, Yom Kippur/repentance – constitutes a Jewish gift to humanity, a beacon of democracy/ liberty. Therefore, Jews have been targeted by enemies of liberty (from Pharaoh, the Spanish Inquisition, Nazism, and Communism to Palestinian/Arab/Muslim terrorism and Iran’s Ahmadinejad).

13. Passover commemorates the victory of Jewish demography. Jacob emigrated to Egypt with 70 relatives, but Moses launched the Exodus with 600,000 adult males and a total of some 3 million people. The Exodus was the first case of a wave of Aliya (Jewish immigration) to Israel, in defiance of odds, as have been all major Aliya waves since 1948 (1950s, 1970s, 1990s), but consistent with Jewish history and destiny. Currently, global circumstances economic and social circumstances constitute an opportunity for another wave of Aliya, awaiting a Ben-Gurion or Shamir-like Aliya-driven leadership. In addition, there is a robust Jewish demographic tailwind between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. The number of annual Jewish births has surged 56% between 1995 (80,400) and 2011 (125,000), while the number of annual Arab births has stabilized during the same period. Theodore Herzl launched modern Zionism with an 8% Jewish minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, Ben Gurion celebrated the November 1947 UN vote to establish a Jewish State with a 33% Jewish minority, but in 2011 there is a 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria and a 58% majority with Gaza.

“Next Year in the Reconstructed Jerusalem”

World News

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.

One Response to “Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2011”

  1. aluminum composite says:

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post.

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