PASSOVER MARCH 25 SUNDOWN, 2013
Passover commemorates the oldest recorded struggle for freedom. The tradition of Passover is liberation, holiday of freedom. Over 3500 years ago, the Jewish people were liberated after 400 years of slavery and bondage, and the Haggadah tells us, they were not only freed, but also left Egypt with great wealth, under the aura of great miracles culminating in the parting of the Red Sea. Moses and Aaron pleaded with Pharaoh to let the Jews free. Pharaoh refused, so God punished the Egyptians with ten plagues. During the last plague, the angel of death carried out the slaying of every first-born Egyptian son. Israelites were “passed over.” The blood of the lamb was placed on the doorposts of all Israelites, so the angel of death passed over the Jews. This was the generation of Jews, which accepted the “Ten Commandments” of the Torah from Moses at Sinai, and so after 20 generations of slavery and bondage, a nation was born, thus this Passover season commemorates both the freedom from the bonds of slavery and the birth as a Jewish people. And after 3,500 years when God related to Moses and his people, “tell thy son as I have you.” The Jewish people continue to tell the story of Passover which is read from the Haggadah, which translated means “to tell.”
EASTER MARCH 31, 2013 Easter is the annual festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the principal feast of the Christian year. It is celebrated on a Sunday on varying dates between March 22 and April 25 and is therefore called a movable feast. The dates of several other ecclesiastical festivals, extending over a period between Septuagesima Sunday (the ninth Sunday before Easter) and the first Sunday of Advent, are fixed in relation to the date of Easter.
Connected with the observance of Easter are the 40-day penitential season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding at midnight on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday; Holy Week, commencing on Palm Sunday, including Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion, and terminating with Holy Saturday; and the Octave of Easter, extending from Easter Sunday through the following Sunday. During the Octave of Easter in early Christian times, the newly baptized wore white garments, white being the liturgical color of Easter and signifying light, purity, and joy.
I want to take this opportunity to wish all our citizens a Happy Easter and Passover.