Friday, April 18, 2008
Passover = Jewish Year 5768: sunset April 19, 2008 - nightfall April 27, 2008
As I mentioned before, you can get kits and books and Passover items that range in price and detail, but you also don’t need anything besides the Word if you so chose. The instructions are found in Leviticus 23. Any of the extras are just that- extra practices or traditions that can be meaningful or fun, but that are not necessary. Don’t let the modern complexities prevent you from experiencing something that is truly a simple foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the Messiah for our redemption from slavery to sin and death. We no longer need to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood on our doorposts, because the lamb that was slain has covered us with his blood.
When you think about it, the first Passover had to be a complete gamut of emotions. The Israelites were under stress because the Pharaoh increased their labor after Moses asked for their freedom. His attempts to reason with the oppressor weren’t working, and without the gift of hindsight as we have, Moses seemed to be doing nothing b7t making trouble. Yet they had seen the protection given them specifically when plagues did not touch them, and that had to awaken a sense of hope that the time of deliverance was possibly at hand. There was certainly fear at the prospect of the angel of death prowling outside the door (what if we didn’t put the blood on right?) mixed with anxiety that they were in such a rush they could not wait for the bread to rise, and also the fear of the unknown- if we do get free, where are we going? How are we going to get there? What will we eat along the way? For us, the emotions are all joyous as we know not only the end of the story of the Exodus, but also what it was meant to prophecy- the Redeemer. We have the knowledge of the crucifixion, resurrection, and promised return to celebrate. That is the focus of our observance, and not the details of the table or the wording. The desire to experience it ‘authentically’ merely means that we wish to know what it was like for the Israelites, because we have certainly experienced the authentic Passover through our beloved Yeshua!!!!!!
The first thing I did for Passover prep was to plan out a menu for the days of unleavened bread, so that I would know what to save and therefore what to make for the remainder of this week. I tried to use up all the bread, so this week’s menu was all bread-centered. I generally would recommend that you start your unleavened menu for the day before the actual Passover so that you have time to get your yeast put in a box and out in the garage or gone. Trying to get everything done on the day itself is asking for a panic! Here is a copy of my (flexible) menu:
Saturday- B: oatmeal and bananas, L: turkey and cheese roll-ups, apples, walnuts, D: Passover Seder (see below)
Sunday- B: cream of wheat and smoothies, L: bean soup (using the bones from the Cornish hens to make broth), cheese cubes, grapes, D: Steak, baked potato, asparagus
Monday- B: grits and eggs, L: tomato soup, cheese slices, celery w/p.b., D: Whitefish, rice, steamed broccoli
Tuesday- B: cold cereal, L: tuna noodle casserole, D: Spaghetti, salad
Wednesday- B: omelets, L: pizza bake, D: Chili, tortillas, cheese cubes
Thursday- B: grits and eggs, L: sardines, cheese cubes, salad, D: New England Boiled Dinner
Friday- B: oatmeal and oranges, L: liver and onions, spinach, D: chicken noodle soup with matzah dumplings
Saturday- B: cream of wheat, applesauce, yogurt, L: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, D: turkey kielbasa, macaroni salad, butternut squash
Sunday- B: cold cereal, L: salmon in fillo dough, au gratin potatoes, kale salad, D: leftovers
Our ‘big deal’ Seder meal: Gifilte fish on lettuce leaves, Cornish hens, matzah stuffing, Waldorf salad, matzah ball soup, angel food cake with cream cheese/yogurt frosting, baklava, potato latkes. Mmmm!
I do want to make a note here that what we consider unleavened may not agree with the Rabbinical laws, which can exclude legumes, peanuts, and rice in certain places. Because the Bible says leaven, and the context was that which could raise bread dough, we only exclude yeast, baking powder, baking soda, and sourdough starter. In angel food cake, you generally use cream of tartar, which is an acidic salt. But if that bothers you as being too much like leaven, use vinegar instead. Because Yeshua is our High Priest, we only adhere to what we find scriptural backing for, and many of the Rabbinical laws (thought they had good intentions) are burdensome and put the trust in the Rabbis instead of the Father.
Seder ceremony- We have a pretty pewter cup, which my husband uses, and the kids and I use glass for the four cups of blessing. We like to use the Haggadah because it has the words in Hebrew, which our kids are learning, and it is such a beautiful language. We also use the Seder plate to help us feel more a part of the Hebrew tree (instead of the other way around). I am a fan of horseradish, so I buy a root and grate it myself. Ours actually gets eaten compared to most families! Don’t buy your parsley until Friday morning if possible, because it will wilt. This is a good time to use your best china, linens, silver, and candlesticks. The number of variations from family to family are endless, including letting the children have pillows behind them to represent the ‘reclining’ during the meal, using a cross rather than a shank bone to represent the sacrifice of Yeshua once for all, and even some of the Rabbinical customs such as sweeping crumbs into a wooden spoon and burning it. And it need not be the same every year. If something works for you, do it. If not, try something different next year.
I would be very interested to hear what others do/will be trying. For those who have decided to put away all things pagan, this is our Resurrection celebration, though we ought to be celebrating that every day! We buy a family gift (one gift for everyone) as a way of commemorating the gift given to us in the Paschal Lamb Yeshua, and it is usually something representative of the gifts we have received from the Father through our covenant to Him. This year we bought the movie Meet the Robinsons, because it is the story of a boy who finds that the family where he ends up is the one he was meant to be in. Not only are our kids grafted into our family, we are grafted into the Father’s family. The ability to become sons and daughters of the King because of the blood of the lamb is the best gift! (John 1:12-13).
Worthy Is the Lamb
Yeshua, Fulfillment of Feasts
Chosen People Ministries