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Passover - The Story In Short

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Let us tell you the great biblical story- which is the reason we celebrate passover.


Pharaoh (Par'oh פָּרְעֹה)

According to the bible the Israelis have lived in Egypt (Mitzraim מִצרָיִם) for several hundreds of years. Pharaoh feared that the growth of the foreign Hebrew tribe would pose a danger to Egypt's security, so he turned them to slaves (Avadim עָבַדִים) with the goal of exhausting their bodies and tereby reducing the birth rate among the Hebrew people.


Moses (Moshe מֹשֶׁה)

When he realised that enslaving the Hebrews did not achieve his goal, he demanded to kill (Laharog לָהַרוֹג) all the male babies at the time of their birth, for they are the ones who threaten the security of Egypt.

At that time , Moses was born. His mother puts him in a small wooden cradle (Teiva תֵיבַה) and puts it in the river , with the aim of not being caught and killed by the Egyptian soldiers like the other babies.

The daughter of Pharaoh who was taking a bath at the river, finds Moses in the ark and takes him as her son.


The Burning Bush (Ha'Sne Ha'Boer הַסְנֶה הַבּוֹעֵר)

As he grew older, Moses found out about his origins, and fled to the desert (Midbar מִדְבָּר), years later, God appeared to him in a burning bush, and commanded him to redeem Israel.

Moses came with his brother Aaron to Pharaoh, and demanded: "Send my people!" / "Shalach Et Ami - שַׁלַּח אֶת עַמִּי" - But Pharaoh refused.


The Plagues (Ha'Makot הַמָכּוֹת)

One by another, God sent ten plagues on Egypt. The last plague - The plague of the firstborns, killed all the first born children of the Egyptians, including Pharaoh's son. Only the last plague, the plague of the firstborns ( מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת makat bechorot), broke Pharaoh's heart and he agreed to release the Hebrews.


The Great Escape (Ha'Bricha Ha'Gdola הַבְּרִיחַה הַגְדוֹלָה)

The Hebrews left Egypt in a hurry, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his strong Egyptian army after them. When Moses and the Hebrew people reached the Red Sea, Moses hit the ground with his stick and caused the Red Sea to split in 2 ( Splitting of the Red Sea - קְרִיעַת יָם סוּף kriat yam suf) enabling Moses and his people to cross the sea by foot. once the army entered, the waters closed and drowned them.


New Beginning (Hatchala Hadasha )

To conclude , The story of the liberation from slavery and the exodus from Egypt turned freedom into a meaningful value in the jewish culture. The term "Exodus from slavery to freedom" derived from the Passover holiday became a common expression in the Hebrew language in various contexts.

After the exodus from Egypt, Moses led the people to Mount Sinai (Har Sinai הָר סִינָי), where they were given the Torah by god.


So Why "Passover"? The meaning of the name literally means - "He passed over" (פֶּסַח), in reference to God "passing over" (or "skipping") the houses of the Hebrews during the final of the Ten Plagues of Egypt - the firstborns plague.

The Hebrews rubbed sheep's blood around the entrances of their houses, The angel of death saw the blood and didn't kill any of the Hebrews first born children.


Disney's "Prince Of Egypt" (Nsich Mitzraim נְסִיך מִצְרָיִם)

In 1998, Dreamworks released an amazing movie called "Prince Of Egypt", which shows this entire story in an amazing, touching way.

We highly recommend watching this movie in it's Hebrew Version! (If you think about it, this is the original language for the movie)

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