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Shulchan Orech - Eating the Passover Meal

Shulchan Orech -

Eating the Passover Meal

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Shulchan Orech

We are now ready to eat! The yom tov (holiday) meal is kosher, of course, and usually has been lovingly prepared for the Seder service. This is a time to put down our haggadahs, lean back, and enjoy some matzah ball soup and other delicious food for the holiday!

There is a minhag (custom) to eat a hard boiled egg (baitzah) dipped in salt water at the start of the Passover yom tov meal. According to Jewish tradition, this is meant to remember the crossing of the Red Sea (or it is done in place of the korban chagiga (festival offering) made the night before the korban Pesach (Passover lamb) was eaten during the time of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple).

It is also customary during the meal to discuss how the korban Pesach was offered in time of the Temple, including how the kohanim would slaughter all the lambs that were brought to the azara (courtyard) on erev Pesach.

at the Bet Hamikdash

The blood of the lamb would caught in a pan and then passed from one kohen to another until it reached the kohen standing at the altar, who would pour it out on the lower part of the altar. While this was happening, the Levites would be singing hallel (praise) to the LORD.

Afterward, each lamb's hide was pulled off, the flesh was salted, and certain parts were burned upon the altar to the LORD. Finally, the remainder was given to the offerer who took it home to be roasted whole over an open fire. The family would gather and eat some of the meat of the korban Pesach with matzah and maror.

The following blessing would be recited before eating the Passover lamb:

Pesach Blessing

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us
with his commandments and commanded us to eat the Pesach.

The Pesach offering was lifted up for all gathered to see and the question, "Why do we eat this Pesach offering?" was asked.  Everyone present would retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt and also partake of the matzah and maror.

Jesus' last Passover began a week before the Festival actually began (see John 12:1-33). After visiting his friend Lazarus and his sisters in Bethany, He went to Jerusalem just before the city became filled with pilgrims coming to celebrate the holiday. On the 10th of Nisan He entered the city, riding on a donkey to announce His messiahship (this was the time the korban Pesach was being selected for the sacrifice).

On the 10th of Nisan He entered the city, riding on a donkey to announce His Messiahship (this was the time the korban Pesach was being selected for the sacrifice). He was greeting with exclamations, "Baruch habah b'shem Adonai" - Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord (Mark 11:9-10). Examined for four days before His sacrifice (execution) for the sins of the world, He was found to be the true Lamb of God (seh haElohim) without spot or blemish.

Like the original Passover in Egypt, the sacrifice of the Lamb causes the wrath of God to "pass over" those who are trusting in the LORD's provision for redemption, but in the case of the sacrifice of the Mashiach Yeshua, the everlasting Son of God, this redemption delivers us from the cruel bondage of Satan and causes the everlasting wrath of God to forever be put away from us. Indeed, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

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