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Passover Starts At Sundown

Paul Watson

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Tonight at sundown marks the first day of Passover. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more on the week-long Jewish holiday, one of the most important of the faith.

The term Passover refers to the mark of a lamb's blood at the entrance of a Jewish home, It dates to ancient times, when Egyptians enslaved Jews. God planned a harsh punishment for the oppressors, as Don Kroll explains. He's the Cantor at Temple Shalom in Dallas.

Don Kroll, Canto, Temple Shalom: And the angel of death would know these were Hebrew families and pass over their house and aim for the first born in Egyptian houses.

Passover is a major holiday of historic religious events. Among them, the ten plagues, the Jews' exodus across the desert, the parting of the sea, and delivery of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. DaVinci's painting, the last supper, is said to be a Seder, the special Passover meal.

Rabbi Adam Raskin: It may be that Jesus celebrated a Passover Seder at the Last Supper. But the point is that Passover is really a universal message.

Adam Raskin is the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. He's also President of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas.

Raskin: And it was the call to proclaim to the world that people were not created to be enslaved or to be oppressed but that God wanted people ultimately to be free and to experience the gift of freedom in this life. And that's a message I think is shared in this tradition, and memorialized in the most influential book of all time, the Bible, which we share with the Christian world.

As the clock ticks this week towards Easter, coming up Sunday, many Jews will maintain another Passover tradition; inviting non-Jews, including Christians, Muslims and others, to a Passover Seder.

Email Bill Zeeble