THE TABERNACLE IN BRANSON'S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
PASSOVER FUN FACTS
April 2019 | Adar II - Nisan 5779 | Volume 14 Issue 4
There is just something about Passover, the first holiday given to the people of G~d. Passover is one of the most celebrated by the Jewish people, enjoyed even more than Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. In a poll done by YouGov in 2015, more than one in four Christians celebrate Passover. Here are some more fun facts you may or may not know about this Holiday known as Pesach (Hebrew for Passover).
Passover is for all!
The Jerusalem Talmud records that Jewish communities would make collections of maot chitim (wheat money) so that everyone can celebrate the Holiday of Freedom in style. Giving to those less fortunate is taught a countless number of times throughout the Scripture and is the hallmark of the Jewish people.
Live Leaven Free!
As Passover approaches, Jewish people can be found cleaning their homes, cars, and offices. This is not just “spring cleaning”, it is a mission. The mission is to get rid of v (leaven). Sometimes even the dishes are purged or put away during the Passover so that no one ingests even the smallest bit of leaven.
Matzah, the “Food of Faith”!
If you can do only one thing (or two) to celebrate Passover, it’s this: eat at least the size of an olive of Matzah after dusk on the first night of Passover, and then do it again on the next night. In doing so, not only do you fulfill the Torah’s commandment, “Matzah you shall eat…(Exodus 12:15)”, but you remember that our ancestors relied on the Holy One to provide sustenance for the entire nations as they left the bondage of Egypt.
The Most Popular Hebrew Book!
The Haggadah is the most popular book in the history of Jewish printing. It is interesting to note that there is very little difference between versions, ie. Haggadah’s used in Morocco are almost identical to those used by Jews in Munich. In 1932, Maxwell House, a leading coffee manufacturer, decided to print and distribute the Maxwell House Haggadah. There are more than 50 million of these Haggadah’s in print and of course, Maxwell House is not only “Good to the last drop”, but is kosher for Passover!
Fine Wine is Divine!
Throughout the Seder evening, everyone drinks four cups of (ideally red) wine. At one time the idea that a wine needed to be thick, sweet, and taste like cough syrup. Thankfully, there are now hundreds of high-quality kosher wines out there!
PROPHETIC APPLICATION TOWARD THE FUTURE
Zech 14.16 says that after the 2nd coming of the Messiah and the battle of Armageddon, it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations shall go up year after year to worship the King (that’s Yeshua) the Lord of Hosts, and keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Yeshua is going to rule and reign the whole earth from Jerusalem for a 1000 years, and each and every year we will all (Jew & Gentile alike) celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles together in the presence of the King. When the thousand years are over, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and the “tabernacle” of God will be with us forever. (REV. 21:1-3) Aren’t you glad that we are all the “Bride of Messiah? And aren’t you glad that God ordained not only the Feast of Tabernacles, but all of His Feasts for us to celebrate together – Jew & Gentile alike.
Kids are a major part of the Passover celebration. The Seder begins with the children asking the four questions, starting with “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Finding the Afikoman is also another fun time for the children at the Seder. Today there are many suggested ways, from frog costumes and mystery plague boxes, to keep children engaged in the Passover Seder. The Rabbi’s of old had a solution to keep the children occupied: give them nuts! Why? In addition to the many Yiddish games played with nuts, the numerical value of the word egoz (nut) is seventeen which is also the numerical value for the word tov (good).
Have you noticed that many elements of the Passover Seder come in groups of four. Four sons, four questions, four cups of wine, and in some ways it seems like four hours until the food is served! When promising to deliver the Children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, HaShem used four terms to describe the redemption (Exodus 6:6-8): I shall take you out…, I shall rescue you…, I shall redeem you…, I shall bring you… One might also note, the Children of Israel were liberated from Pharaoh’s four evil decrees: Slavery, killing all the firstborn by the Hebrew midwives, the drowning of all the Hebrew boys, and the decree ordering the Israelites to collect their own straw for use in their brick production. Also, the word’s “cups of wine” are mentioned four times in Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 40:11-13).
The Fifth Son!
There are four sons spoken about in the Haggadah. In a letter penned to Jews worldwide in 1957, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, urged every Jew to acknowledge and invite the “fifth son”, the Jew who would otherwise not be at the Seder, or even aware of the Passover.
In ancient times, the center of the Passover celebration was the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed in the Temple and then eaten with matzah and bitter herbs as a “dessert” at the end of the meal. Sacrifices have not been brought since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Today, we still eat the matzah and bitter herbs without the lamb, and then eat an extra piece of matzah, known as the afikoman.
The World’s Largest Seder!
Kathmandu, Nepal is host to the world’s largest Seder, with an excess of 2,000 attendees. Kathmandu is nestled in the soaring mountains between India and China. To host a crowd of this many, they get shipments of 2,000 bottles of wine, 2,000 pounds of matzah, and 3,000 units of gefilte fish on an average year.
This was the 1886 slogan for the popular soft drink Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, today Coca-Cola contains the ingredient known as high fructose corn syrup. In addition to being unhealthy, high fructose corn syrup is forbidden under the ban on legumes and beans on Passover. The solution came in the form of a special run of Coke that contains cane sugar, with which the original Coke was actually produced. These bottles are easily recognizable by their yellow caps. and carry a kosher symbol. Best wishes to all who are celebrating Passover this year. May your Holiday be filled with peace, joy, good health, and togetherness. Chag Sameach Pesach!