Easter & Passover Each Emphasize Hope

Packages of Passover Matzos sit in the window of a store on the lower east side of New York

Here's a look at the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Many spring pagan celebrations coincided with early Christians' celebration of Easter, and some celebrations merged together, according to multiple religious sources.

Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of Jews from slavery and the exodus from ancient Egypt. I'm joined now by Andrew McGowan.

ANDREW MCGOWAN: Thank you, Linda.

To be perfectly clear, discussions about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are very important, and we should make every effort to continue forging a dialogue about them. Consider adding a cup of wine for Miriam to your table as well to symbolize the role women play not only in the past, but the role they continue to play in the present.

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MCGOWAN: That's absolutely right.

The sacred meal includes reading, drinking wine, telling stories, eating special foods and singing.

"It's biblical", she said.

WHEN DAVID BEN-GURION appealed to the British Mandate regarding the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel he said: "Over three hundred years ago a ship called the Mayflower set sail to explore the new world".

"I think I still butchered (the song), but it was fun", Pugh said. There are some similarities still, and there are some ironic differences.

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Friday was the first night of the traditional Passover meal, known as the Seder. "Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night we eat bitter herbs?" Unfortunately, your (or at least our) only hope of even partially fulfilling this mitzvah is by determining which portions of the seder you can make interesting enough that the children will be inclined to participate in, and which portions will have to wait until they're older. And that in itself is understood to be an echo of that last supper.

The Seder-to-go dinners are just one aspect of Chabad's outreach efforts as part of the buildup to the Passover feast. In addition, there are a plethora of activities and strategies people can bring to their celebrations.

Seen in this light, the drama of the afikoman reminds us that our obligation to empower the powerless necessarily entails giving up a certain amount of comfort and control over our own lives.

It's nearly time Passover, or Pesach. The idea is to become personally involved in the Exodus story. Exodus also is part of the Christian tradition of course.

Gourarie said Passover is not only about freedom from oppression, but also about the freedom to serve God. He's dean of Yale's Berkeley Divinity School.

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Thank God we are blessed to live at a time when we have a Jewish homeland and we are privileged to be able to participate in a Jewish army which protects and ensures the survival of our nation.

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