The Passover holiday is a time for Jewish people around the world to come together, feast and drink. The eight-day festival, which begins Friday and goes through April 11, commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt as recalled in the Book of Exodus.
The story tells of how the Israelites endured decades of servitude under Egyptian rule and how God delivered them from bondage through Moses. Following God’s orders, Moses implored the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, but he refused. According to Exodus, God then unleashed 10 plagues upon Egypt. The word Passover is derived from the 10th plague, in which God struck dead all first-born children in Egypt, except for the Israelites whom God “passed over,” or spared.
The first two nights of the holiday are often marked with two traditional Seder meals. The meals typically include six foods symbolizing the Exodus story – for instance, bitter herbs to represent slavery and lamb to signify the sacrifice of the lamb. Here are 15 quotes and sayings to share on Passover.
1. “Then Moses said to the people, ‘Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast.’” -- Exodus 13:3
2. “Freedom is within our grasp, and Pesach reminds us that we need to reach.” -- Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
3. “This is true freedom: Our ability to shape reality. We have the power to initiate, create and change reality rather than only react and survive it. How can we all educate our children to true freedom? Teach them not to look at reality as defining their acts but to look at their acts as defining reality.” -- Yaacov Cohen
4. “Passover has a message for the conscience and the heart of all mankind. For what does it commemorate? It commemorates the deliverance of a people from degrading slavery, from most foul and cruel tyranny. And so, it is Israel's - nay, God's protest against unrighteousness, whether individual or national.” -- Morris Joseph
5. "Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being." -- Morris Joseph
6. “Passover and Easter are the only Jewish and Christian holidays that move in sync, like the ice skating pairs we saw during the winter Olympics.” -- Marvin Olasky
7. “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” -- Elie Wiesel
8. “Passover is one of my favorite times of the year. This is when the whole community and family gets together to remember who we are and why we are here.” -- Jennifer Wagner
9. "I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad." -- Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
10. “Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves.” -- John 11:55
11. “Freedom is within our grasp, and Pesach reminds us that we need to reach.” -- Bradley Shavit Artson
12. “The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day.” -- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
13. “Passover is our tradition, and I like to keep up with that. Our ancestors couldn't eat bread, and it's nice for us to celebrate that every year by going through their struggles.” -- Marsha Cohen
14. “The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.” -- Jonathan Sacks
15. “And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the Passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the Passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.” -- Number 9:14