Pesach Offering
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Pesach Offering

Pesach Offering

Why did our ancestors eat the Passover offering at the Holy Temple?

by

Independence Day

What was the reason our ancestors ate the Passover offering at the time of the Temple? Because The Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as it says: "You shall say, this is a Passover offering to God Who passed over the houses of the Jewish people in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians and saved our houses. And the people bowed and prostrated themselves." (Exodus 12:27)

The commentators pose an interesting question: What was the precise moment of Jewish Independence Day? In other words, when did these individuals officially become the Jewish people, the "holy nation?"

The Talmud says that a master legally acquires a servant at the moment that the servant actually performs a service.

The first "service" the Jewish people performed for God was on that first Passover in Egypt when we offered the Passover lamb. In fact, the "Pesach" offering is the first reference to the term avodah, meaning "service" (see Exodus 12:26).

The Passover lamb therefore has great significance. Its offering marks the precise moment of Jewish nationhood – over 3,300 years ago.


The Money God

Rabbi Stephen Baars

What was the reason our ancestors ate the Passover offering at the time of the Temple? Because The Holy One, Blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt...

The Passover offering was a lamb. The Egyptians worshiped the lamb as their god!

The Jewish people were affected by the values of their environment, just as we are affected by the values of our environment today. The Torah tells us it is not enough just to realize that local values are nonsense. One has to slaughter them.

The god of the Egyptians was the lamb; the god of the western world is money.

Money doesn't make you happy, but in Western society, the cult of money has primacy. An individual may recognize that money is relatively unimportant in the overall scheme of life. But if you want to be free, you have to completely distance yourself from the idea that money is primary. This idea is expressed in sacrificing the lamb.


Idol Worship Today

Rabbi Tom Meyer

What was the reason our ancestors ate the Passover offering at the time of the Temple? Because The Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt...

On that first Passover night in Egypt, the Jews put blood on the door posts, and the Angel of Death "passed over" the Jewish houses. Actually most people think the blood was on the outside of the door, but really the blood was on the inside. The Jews sat there that night, staring at the blood. They had a lot to think about. They were going to walk out of Egypt the next morning and enter into a covenant with God.

How do we apply this today? When a person realizes that he has to control his body and aim it towards spirituality, then it is a natural drive to worship God. The Jews bowed down, they aimed it at God.

If we don't aim it at God, we're going to aim it at something else. What are the gods in this generation? Where do people put all the power and worship? Career, fashion, fame, status, sex, wealth. You know those sandwich signs people used to walk around with – "Eat at Jake's Cafe." Today we're walking around with signs that say, "I'm a doctor," "I have washboard abs," "I have 10,000 square feet in my house."

We are all worshipping something. We are all religious. We each need to ask: What are the idols I worship? Where do I give my power? We are carrying a heavy burden worshipping these wrong idols. Find your idol. Then exchange it for the real thing. That is the Passover offering.

Published: April 2, 2003


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