From the Editor Sep/Oct 2021
Growing up, Passover was my favorite holiday. It arrived just when New England’s harsh, snow-packed winter was finally giving way to spring, and a season of renewal lay around the corner as trees began to sprout their buds and sidewalks finally became visible again.
My mother, who grew up Orthodox and was a meticulous housekeeper, scoured our home with extra diligence to prepare for this important feast on the Jewish calendar. She removed every trace of leaven and switched out our everyday dishes for her special set, reserved exclusively for Pesach.
A terrific cook, she prepared delicious holiday meals—all devoid of leaven, of course. The only drawback was that for eight days we kissed goodbye to cereal, cakes, cookies, bread, and bagels and said hello to matzoh (unleavened bread). Matzoh, matzoh, and more matzoh. And it wasn’t the good matzoh, with poppy seeds and onion. It had to be the plain, tasteless kind that was specifically labeled “kosher for Passover.”
At school, I suffered through matzoh sandwiches. I use the term sandwiches loosely because by the time I got around to eating them, they had crumbled into a pile of pieces. The Lord rightly called matzoh the “bread of affliction” (Dt. 16:3).
But I loved the Seder. A tradition passed down from generation to generation for more than 3,000 years, this special service conducted at the dinner table retells the story of the miraculous Jewish Exodus. Every time I heard it, it made me appreciate where I came from and how the Lord rescued my people from slavery, smiting Egypt with 10 plagues. The 10th plague was the death of the firstborn. Escaping that one required the blood of a spotless lamb. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand the true purpose of the blood until many years later. Peter Colón explains it for you in his article, “Behold the Lamb!”.
Passover is one of seven biblical holidays God gave the Jewish people. Each one has a purpose—some obvious, some not so obvious—and each one is important to Jews and Christians alike. That’s why the theme of this issue is the seven biblical feasts. Hopefully, you’ll learn a little bit about how Jewish people celebrate today and how these feasts relate to the future.
We’ve also included a look at the Sabbath, an extremely important feature of Judaism. So grab a seat, put your feet up, and enjoy this issue of Israel My Glory!
Waiting for His Appearing,