The Unexpected Ancient Roots of Passover
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ceremonial feast that signifies the start of Passover, a commemoration of the Hebrew slaves’ liberation from Egypt. This gathering involves a collective recounting of the Passover narrative, comprising of ritual prayers and songs, symbolic foods, and enjoying the Pesach meal.
Celebrations of the Passover Seder have evolved over time, with contemporary iterations featuring customs from various periods and communities.
Ancient Origins of Passover
The origins of Passover have recently been discovered to be even more ancient than previously thought. It can be traced back to the Israelite people’s springtime rituals, such as Pesach (a pastoral ceremony to repel evil) and Hag Hamatzot (a first barley harvest celebration by agricultural communities).
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As a unified Israelite state emerged, these two rituals combined and eventually became associated with the exodus from Egypt story. After the Second Temple’s destruction in 70 CE, the Passover Seder we recognize today primarily took form as rabbinical schools and established new customs suited to a post-Temple era.
Read more at Haaretz.com