Passover is the Feast of Freedom. This is the time when we remember how Yahweh brought the children of Israel, our fathers, out of Egypt, and revealed to the world that He was the living God. However, it seemed as if Israel didnít quite know how to handle their new-found freedom. They grumbled, complained, and then eventually allowed fear to cause them to sin in the most grievous way with the golden calf. But even in all that Yahweh had mercy upon the people He had called to be his own. In this day the blinders have been removed and we are learning to see things in a different way. We marvel at all we have learned and praise God for His revelations. Today Pesach is not just an obscure Hebraic celebration that happens to coincide with *aster. The Feast instructs us on our freedom from sin because we are covered with His blood. Yeshua is our Passover Lamb. In Joshua chapter five, the children of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land. Before they do Yahweh had Joshua circumcise all the men. Joshua 5:4-6 makes it clear that those who came out of Egypt were circumcised, but those men who were twenty years of age and above died in the wilderness as part of Yahwehís judgment. It was those who were born in the wilderness that Joshua was commanded to circumcise.
Afterwards Yahweh said to Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Therefore the name of that place was called Gilgal, to this day. Joshua 5:9
What was the reproach of Egypt? The Hebrew word cherpah means disgrace or shame. The disgrace or shame of Egypt was in part Israelís idolatry. There was something more. Every time things got bad in the camp, the people began to think about Egypt, and that maybe they would be better off there. True, they were slaves in Egypt, but certain needs had been fulfilled. If that hadnít been the case, the Egyptians would have lost their slave labor. Now Israel was given their freedom, but something more was being required Ė faith in the God who brought them out of Egypt and obedience to Him. Egypt only cared enough about Israel so that they could serve them. Israel was still thinking like slaves instead of freemen. This was the reproach of Egypt. It continued until finally they reached the Promised Land, and refused to enter, allowing their fear to overcome them which resulted in forty years of wandering. Would we have behaved differently? We have been redeemed through Yeshua, but are our eyes still focused on Egypt (the world)? How are we handling our freedom? Are we grumblers, complainers, not content with where we are, or what He has for us? Do we want our blessings right now, instead of waiting upon our God? When things get tough do we try to fix things according to the world? Yes, it is difficult to wait upon Yahweh, but would Yahweh have let the children of Israel die by the hand of Pharaoh, or from thirst and starvation after he had brought them out of Egypt? We understand that we are free but when things become difficult, we sometimes forget our freedom and who provided it. In the Torah, (Dívarim - Deuateronomy17:16) Yahweh tells us that we should not return that way (Egypt) again.
Wait for Yahweh, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. Tehillim - Psalms 37:34.
A time is coming soon when Godís judgment will fall upon the whole earth. Some of us will literally find ourselves in the same position as the children of Israel, physically leaving everything that we know and are familiar with behind, and place our beings solely in His hands. If we are to make it through we must keep our faith and be obedient to His ways, and He will not abandon us.
For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. ! Peter 2:15-16
As bondservants, who have been freed, but choose to stay and serve our Master, we must wait upon Him. (Exodus 21:1-6)
At this Feast of Freedom let us ask Abba to remove the reproach of Egypt from us. Wait on Yahweh and keep His ways that we may inherit all He has for us.
If this is your first Passover Seder then the following notes will be helpful to you.
First get into the right frame of mind. A Seder may seem like a big undertaking even if it is just your family, but remember why you are doing it. It is a commandment to keep the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Everything that you do is done in obedience to Father, so be encouraged.
Now would be a good time to begin cleaning your home. Many people believe that the spring cleaning ritual originated with Passover. Your home must be free of all leaven; therefore a thorough cleaning is in order. In Scripture leaven represents sin. As we clean the literal leaven out we should also pray that Yahweh would show us the leaven that needs to be cleaned out of our lives and our hearts. You should start with the rooms that are least likely to have leaven like bedrooms, storage rooms, etc. Once a room has been “cleaned for Passover” do not allow anything with leaven into that room. As you get closer to Passover the last rooms to be cleaned would be the dinning room and kitchen. All leaven must be removed before Pesach. We try to have everything done by mid morning before Pesach begins.
The Seder is the Passover meal. (see our Passover Haggadah for the items you will need for the Seder) You will need a Seder plate or a large serving plate. On this plate will you will have the foods listed in Exodus 12: bitters herbs (horseradish which represents the bitterness of bondage), lamb, (symbolizing the lamb that was eaten on that night that death passed over), matzah, (must be made out of flour and water. no leaven!) You will also need a special cloth holder for three matzah you will be putting aside. This holder is called a matzah tash. You will put one piece of matzah inside each compartment. Two are for the blessings. The middle one is broken in half. One half is placed back inside the matzah tash, the other is wrapped in a linen cloth and hidden. This is called the Afikomen. Instead of purchasing a matzah tash you could place the matzah between napkins, or you could make your own. We found these easy instructions for making a matzah tash on the Internet at http://kecirohomeschool.com/matzahtash.pdf
The following foods are not in Scripture, but were added later: haroset (symbolizes the mortar used to build Egyptian cities), karpas, (fresh greens such as parsley or celery symbolizes hyssop used to put the blood on the door posts. The karpas is dipped into a bowl of salt water to symbolize the tears Israel shed in bondage.) Egg (Some say the egg symbolizes life; others say it symbolizes mourning of the temple. There are those who feel uncomfortable with the egg because of its connection to pagan fertility rituals, and they leave it off. Other people leave off all additions and only do what is required in the Scripture. Please pray about this and allow Yahweh to lead you.
You will need a wine glass for every person. There are 4 cups of wine that are drunk during the Seder. Whether you use grape juice or wine is also something that needs to be examined for each family and allow Yahweh to lead you, but you will need enough for every person to have four servings of wine/grape juice.
A couple of small bowls of salt water on the table so that everyone can dip their karpas, candles, (the same used for Shabbat), matches, an extra napkin to wrap the Afikomen, a copy of the Haggadah for every person, or enough for two people to share. You may also want to set the table with nice dishes, and a tablecloth.
If all of this seems a little overwhelming at first, don’t worry. Your Seder can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. Whichever you Haggadah you decide to use - ours or another, make sure you read it over a few times to familiarize yourself with it.
A book that is wonderful for all of the Feast days is called A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays. This book can be purchased all over the Internet and it is an excellent guide on how to observe all of the Feast days which includes information on traditional Jewish customs, Messianic significance, and also children’s activities for each holiday. This issue of the Children's Corner also has a list of websites and books for children's activities for Passover.
My name is Bonnie Wills, and I am the devoted wife of Radar for almost 20 years, homemaker and homeschooling mother of 4 wonderful children ages 6-19. I have always had a passion for the Word of God, reading, studying and discussing it at every opportunity, trying to find ways to not only apply it to my own life, but to also help others along their walks as well. Five years ago I began to pray that I would not be among those deceived (Matt. 24:24) Since discovering the Hebrew roots of my faith, the Word of God has come alive to me as never before. As I study the word, I find its lessons stick with me as I write them out, putting their lessons into teaching form. What else can I do but share these thoughts/insights with others?
A few years ago, when we were to host our first Passover Seder, I was given the task to find a good Messianic Haggadah for our family to use. As a homemaker with a limited budget, I naturally scoured the web for a Messianic Haggadah, finding a few that I could freely download. I printed these out, looked over each carefully, and decided that I didn’t like any of them. Well, that’s not exactly true… I found parts of each that I liked very much, but none that I could hold up and say, “this will work for my family.” My husband then amended my task; I was now to write a Haggadah for our family to use. Drawing from the free ones I had found, along with graphics I have collected over the years, I put together a simple Haggadah for my family to use, full of graphics and designed to include everyone in the Seder.
This is the result of my work. My husband, that first year, said, “This made it so easy for me to lead the Seder.” Friends whom we have shared it with have made similar comments. A few have told me I should have it published, but my husband and I believe that we should give as we have received, freely. Besides, who wants to track down all of those graphics?
The Haggadah is set up so that no matter how many you have attending your Seder, from 2 to who knows, everyone has a part to play. Each person takes turns as the Reader, and the Leader remains constant. I have formatted this document with a wide left border for hole-punching purposes. Feel free to make any changes you feel would suit your families needs better (changing God to G-d, for example) and print out as many copies as you need. For those with younger children, I suggest printing out the Passover Haggadah coloring pages found at Aish.com and including them. (http://www.aish.com/passfamily/passfamilydefault/Haggadah_Coloring_Pages.asp) If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
To access Bonnie’s Haggadah click the Star of David below. You will need Microsoft Word to view and print it. If you don’t have it you can download the Word Viewer from Microsoft.
Shalom, and welcome to our first issue of Kosher Kitchen!
My name is Vered, and we are going to talk about being Biblically kashrut/kosher. Also in this issue, I am going to include some recipes for Pesach/Passover!
What is kosher? How do you keep Biblically kosher? Merriam-Webster defines "kosher" as:
1 a: sanctioned by Jewish law; especially: ritually fit for use <kosher meat> b: selling or serving food ritually fit according to Jewish law <a kosher restaurant> 2: being proper, acceptable, or satisfactory <kosher funding>
What does the bible have to say about eating kosher? Let's look at Leviticus 20: 25-26:
You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean;
and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean.
Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
Eating Biblically kosher refers to the dietary laws as outlined in the Scriptures, forbidding the eating of:
1) Animals that God calls unclean (Leviticus 11:47)
2) Animal fat (Leviticus 3:17)
3) Animals that still have blood in them (Leviticus 17:12-14)
For a list of clean and unclean animals, please look at Leviticus, chapter 11.
Erev Pesach/Passover Eve starts April 12th this year! In this spring feast, there are several foods that are eaten in the seder. Everything in the seder has significant meaning! I am going to include a few recipes, and their symbolisms.
The first two recipes are Sephardic and Ashkenazi charoset recipes. Charoset is made only at Passover (although good ALL the time!) and is served during the seder. It symbolizes the mortar that the Hebrew slaves were forced to use for Pharoah's monuments.
Juice of one lemon
3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sweet Passover wine
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the sliced apples, and set aside. Combine dates, apricots, and raisins in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until all the fruits are soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, drain, and cool.
Place cooled dates, apricots, and raisins in the bowl of a food processor. Add apple slices and wine. Process to a course consistence. Remove and mix with walnuts. If you prefer more of a uniform consistency, add walnuts to food processor along with the other ingredients and process together.
Serve chilled- Yields approximately 4 cups
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup grated apple
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sweet Passover wine
Chop all together and run through food chopper. Add enough wine to combine into a paste. Serve chilled.
The next recipe is a roasted lamb recipe. The symbolism of eating lamb on Passover is that Yeshua offered Himself as a sacrifice. There are many references in God's Word about Yeshua being our Lamb.
Passover Roast Lamb
1 7 pound shoulder of lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded celery leaves
1/3 cup cubed green pepper
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (or to taste)
Preheat over to 325 F. Rub the meat all over with salt and pepper. Place slivers of garlic between the bone and flesh. Place meat on a rack in a roasting pan, surrounded by celery leaves and green pepper. Allowing 20 min per lb, roast in oven. About 1 hour before it is done, smooth tomato sauce over top of lamb. This will make a crusty skin and add flavor to the gravy.
To make the gravy, drain off all the fat, and remove lamb to a warm place. Add a little water to the pan, leaving in the vegetables, and boil down on top of stove.
Serving ideas: with asparagus, roasted new potatoes, and mint jelly.
Not being raised in an observant Jewish home, I played catch-up for quite a while as my family began integrating Jewish observances into our lives. After I “mastered” Shabbat, I began learning about Pesach.
I searched for kosher wines, but since I don’t live near large Jewish communities which normally have kosher products available, I made do with the typical kosher wines for Passover from the grocery store; either Magen David or Manishewitz.
Both of these wines are notorious for their concord grape syrupy sweetness. Although I enjoy red wine, I tend to like them dry. Four glasses of this sweet stuff during the Passover observance was more of a hurdle than an enjoyment.
Imagine my relief to find a huge array of kosher wines being developed for Passover with names like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz.
It made me want to raise my hand in thanks!
Each year a ministry I am a part of offers a Community Passover Seder to expose those within the Christian faith to their Jewish roots. This year, in preparation for this event, I decided to order three different kinds of wine from www.kosherwine.com and have a taste test. I certainly did not want to order two whole cases of wine only to want to pour them down the sink.
The three wines we tasted were Carmel Vineyard Merlot 2002, Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, and the Recanati Shiraz 2003. At the time of this writing, all these wines are ten dollars or less a bottle and if you buy a case it is extremely reasonable. The wines all tasted very good and would be excellent for use at any meal.
Our favorite was the smoky Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. Since our Passover menu consists of Persian dishes with strong flavors, we need a wine that can keep up with the menu, but not compete or overpower the flavors of the food. In our opinion, this wine would make an excellent choice for an accompaniment to such a meal.
The Recanati Shiraz 2003 was in second place. Slightly more pungent, it would have done well with our menu, had we a lighter fare.
The Carmel Vineyard Merlot 2002 was delicious, but “bit back”. I’m afraid four glasses of this and we wouldn’t be able to taste much after a while.
All in all, each wine had its good points. These taste like regular dry reds and are without the syrupy taste one associates with kosher for Passover wines.
Our experience with www.kosherwine.com has been very good. They are responsive, ship your package quickly and within five days we received our initial order in nice styrofoam packed boxes.
Both the wines and the wine company get five stars from us and we will be ordering from them again.
Tracey is a homeschooling mom, writer, and Vice President and Training Director for Small Beginnings Ministries in WashingtonState. Posting regularly on her blog, Chai Time she discusses Judaism, Christianity and her ongoing discovery of her hidden Jewish ancestry.
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.