Day Four

Today is the Fourth Day of Passover and I’m going to discuss some of the rich traditions passed down and practiced by Jews to this day.

Most Celebrated Holiday

Passover is the most celebrated holiday in Judaism and is practiced more often than Yom Kippur and Chanuka.  Passover is so central to being a Jew, that Maot Chitim (wheat money) is practiced to this day.   

Maot Chitim (wheat money)

The Haggadah recited at the Seder reads “All who are hungry, let them come and eat.”  The tradition of Maot Chitim begins collecting money thirty days before Passover, and the funds are distributed to those in need on the Shabbat prior to the start of Passover.  This practice ensures everyone in need can celebrate a rich Passover. This year Moyock Christian Fellowship participated in Maot Chitim providing boxes of food, medicine and shelter to Jews in need in Israel. Brother Brian’s wife Vickie’s family ancestors are Jews and we felt called by God to participate in this rich tradition of Maot Chitim.

The Haggadah (telling)

In the Christianity, our Holy Bible is the most read, most printed, and most purchased book around the world.  In Judaism, it’s not the Hebrew Bible that is most read, printed or purchased but instead the Haggadah.  The Haggadah tells the story of the Exodus and is passed down to Jewish Children.  This book details the rituals of the Seder meal and is read at Passover. 

G_d (the why)

The Torah instructs Jews to “obliterate the name” of idolatry in the Land of Israel, but specifically warns against doing the same to God, so it is Jewish practice not to spell out God, but instead spell it G_d.  This ensure that any written text that might get damaged or destroyed does not contain the name of our creator.

Fourth Traditional Scripture Reading of Passover

Exodus 22:24-23:19 – King James Version

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

23 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:

11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)

16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.

18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.