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Earth Day & Passover

Updated: 3 days ago

Learning To Meditate 21 Days Day 17

Earth Day & Passover

Both Passover and Earth Day celebrate the Earth, its renewal, and the coming of spring. Earth Day, a day created in 1970 recognizing the environmental movement, calls us to celebrate our beautiful planet and take time to repair and give back.

At the first Earth Day in 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans participated. They took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy environment and to participate in teach-ins. The April 22 date was selected in part because it fell between colleges' spring break and final exams.

For many spiritual traditions, Earth Day is a reminder of our responsibility to care for our planet and work towards a more sustainable and just future. It's also a time to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world, and to deepen our appreciation and reverence for the bounty of our planet.

Earth Day is an annual reminder that climate change has a major impact on our planet, our lives and our future. It can also increase awareness and drives change. Earth Day continues to evolve and add value to sustainability movements across the globe.

Passover, in Judaism, holiday commemorating the Hebrews' liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus.

By: My Jewish Passover

Rules for Passover

  • Avoiding leavened bread. Passover is the strictest Jewish holiday when it comes to food. ...

  • Ridding the house of hametz. ...

  • Fast of the First Born. ...

  • The Seder. ...

  • Eating matzah. ...

  • Synagogue services. ...

  • No work.

What is a symbol of Passover?

Passover is among the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays. While the particulars vary significantly from community to community, and even between individual families, there are many Passover customs that are observed in some form by large numbers of Jews.

Avoiding leavened bread

Passover is the strictest Jewish holiday when it comes to food. For eight days (seven in Israel), Jews traditionally avoid eating food made from leavened grain. Most significantly, this means avoiding any bread or bread products, with some Jews additionally abstaining from any grain product, including beer, pasta, oatmeal and most liquors.

Ridding the house of hametz

In addition to not eating bread, some Jews completely rid their houses of bread products — known in Hebrew as hametz. Those who observe this custom strictly will clean their house thoroughly to ensure even the crumbs behind the couch are removed. Grain products that are too difficult or expensive to remove will sometimes be kept at home but sold to a non-Jewfor the duration of the holiday.

Fast of the First Born

Some Jews have the practice that the first born in every family fasts on the eve of Passover from sunrise to sunset. This fast is the only one in the Jewish calendar that applies only to one segment of the Jewish community and was established to remember how God spared the first born sons of Israel while killing the first born sons of the Egyptians. Some Jews have the custom of avoiding the fast by holding a festive meal early in the day to mark the completion of some portion of Torah study.

The Seder

The centerpiece of the Passover holiday is the seder , a ceremonial feast held at home on the first night of the holiday (some Jews who live outside Israel hold two seders, one on each of the first two nights.) The seder meal is intended to dramatically retell the story of the liberation of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt and is laden with symbolic foods and rituals, including the eating of the bitter herbs (symbolizing the hardship of slavery) and the dipping of a green vegetable into salt water (symbolizing the bounty of the spring season). As with nearly all Jewish observances, the seder is preceded by the lighting of candles and the blessing of wine.

Eating matzah

Dubbed “the bread of affliction,” matzah is an unleavened cracker, usually made from wheat, that is baked quickly (in under 18 minutes) before the batter has a chance to rise. It is eaten at the seder and throughout the holiday in remembrance of the haste in which the Jews left Egypt, leaving no time for their bread to rise. Matzah is the consummate symbol of Passover, which is sometimes referred to in Hebrew as Chag Hamatzot — the holiday of the matzah.

Synagogue services

Like all Jewish festivals, Passover has a special synagogue service that includes specific Torah readings for the holiday and the chanting of Song of Songs, the poetic work attributed to King Solomon. The memorial service Yizkor is also traditionally held in the synagogue on the final day of the holiday, one of only four times during the year it is recited.

No work

During the first two and last two days of Passover, many traditionally observant Jews will abstain from most of the same activities they avoid on the Sabbath — no driving, working, using electricity, lighting fires or spending money. On the intermediary days of the holiday — known as hol hamoed— those restrictions do not apply. Many Jewish schools close for the full duration of the holiday.

“The lamb shank bone symbolizes the Passover sacrifice and how God extended his arm to the Jewish people,” Helfand said. The egg, meanwhile, exists as a celebratory Passover sacrifice and how the Jewish people were free from paganism.

What are the 5 forbidden foods on Passover?

The tradition goes back to the 13th century, when custom dictated a prohibition against wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye and spelt, Rabbi Amy Levin said on NPR in 2016.

What is forbidden in Passover?

Traditionally, the category of forbidden foods on Passover — known as hametz — was defined as the fermented products of five grains: wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye.

How do you honor Earth Day?

Conserve energy at home.

From turning off lights and electronics when not in use, to using a programmable thermostat, to changing your air filter regularly, there are many small things you can do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money on your utility bills.

How do you honor the Earth on Earth Day?

One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups. Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch or drainage area around the corner that is polluted with trash! You'll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives.

What is the prayer for Earth Day offering?

Creator God, we thank you for all of creation. We ask your forgiveness where we have failed to be just stewards. And we now ask for your guidance in restoring the face of the earth. May we learn to live in harmony, safety and just sharing of resources among all so that we achieve the kingdom of God.

Peace & Love be to this community. Peace be to this land. Peace be to all people.

Love All.


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