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Great Ways to Celebrate Passover This Year

 


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Free e-cards have now become one of the most popular ways to celebrate Passover, and it has never been easier to send e cards over the web.

The Jews had enjoyed 400 years of peace in Egypt when they were enslaved by Pharaoh Ramses II, who was threatened by their number and potential influence. The pharaoh was disappointed to find that even in captivity, forced into daily strenuous labor under dreadful conditions, the Jewish tribe continued to grow.

He issued a new decree: every boy born to a Jewish mother must be drowned. However, a woman unable to kill her baby boy hid him for three months, then put him into a papyrus basket and set him afloat on the Nile. The baby was discovered by the Pharaoh's daughter, taken into the palace, and raised with all the comforts of royalty. He was named Moses.

Because the palace servants who took care of him were Jewish, Moses learned of his background and gradually, the despair of slavery. One day, he witnessed a foreman brutally whipping a slave, and struck the Egyptian with a fatal blow. Afraid of the Pharaoh's reaction, Moses fled Egypt.

He had no plans to return to Egypt until he saw a burning bush that was not being consumed by the flames. It was God, calling on Moses to free the Jewish people of Egypt. Moses reluctantly stepped up to the task and traveled to Egypt to implore the Pharaoh to let his people go.

When the Pharaoh refused, Moses foretold that the water of Egypt would turn to blood to prove that it was indeed God's will that the Hebrews be free. This was the first of the ten plagues it took to finally persuade the Pharaoh to set the Jews free. Forced to flee quickly, the Jews brought flat pieces of unleavened dough that baked in the desert sun.

Having traveled a grueling road, the tribe found itself at the shore of the Red Sea. They then discovered that the Pharaoh's army was approaching them from behind. The Pharaoh had rethought his decision and had dispatched his troops to retrieve his slaves. Moses, inspired by God to do so, lifted up his walking stick over the water, causing the waves to be blown apart and a dry path to appear between massive walls of water.

The Hebrews safely crossed the sea, but the Egyptian army, who rushed in after them, was drowned by the waves as they crashed back down. Passover is celebrated to remember the liberation of the Jewish people, their exodus from Egypt, and the beginning of their journey to the Promised Land.

An important part of marking Passover is the symbolism of food. According to custom, a special set of dishes and utensils is used for the length of Passover and the entire home is cleansed of yeast products and leavened food, the consumption of which is prohibited during the holiday in remembrance of the flat bread that the Jews took with them upon leaving Egypt.

The first two nights of Passover are commemorated with a special meal called a Seder, which means the order that is followed during the symbolic feast.

A piece of flat bread, known as matzah, is broken at the start of the meal and part of it hidden to be later found by the kids. Bitter herbs, such as horseradish, are eaten to evoke the severity of slavery and green herbs symbolic of rebirth are dipped in salt water, which signifies the tears shed by the enslaved Jews of Egypt.

A blend of apples, dates, nuts, and wine, called haroset, is eaten in representation of the mortar the Jews were forced to mix for the Pharaoh. A lamb shank and hard-boiled egg are also placed on the table as symbols of the sacrifices made by the Jews when their freedom was denied.

Throughout the Seder, each Jew literally relives the atrocities of slavery and the triumph of liberation. The celebration of Passover lasts eight days, except in Israel, where it is commemorated for seven.

The ten plagues were water turning to blood, multitude of frogs, lice, then insects swarming everywhere, livestock dying from disease, boils breaking out on people's skin, hail, teeming locusts, three days of complete darkness, and the death of each Egyptian firstborn.

Jews were instructed by God to mark their doors with lamb's blood to avoid the death of their firstborn. Passover is called that because the homes of the Hebrews were passed over by the plague.

Each year millions of free e-cards are sent. This year you could make someone's Passover that bit more special by sending them a free e-card. The best things about e cards is they are completely free, and take up very little time to write in them and send. And you'll never have to worry about running out of ink when sending your free e-card.

Andrew Gibson is MD of Greeting-Cards.com. It has thousands of free ecards to choose from for birthdays and all occasions. Many people now send free e-cards to celebrate birthdays and select them from thousands of free e-cards

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