Do you truly know the story of Passover?
Passover (pesach in Hebrew) is a Jewish holiday celebrated each year in the early spring over eight days by Jews living outside of Israel and seven for Jews living within Israel.
The festival “commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt … [and] is observed by avoiding leaven and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matza and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.”
As slaves in Egypt, the Israelites suffered under brutal conditions, forced to do hard physical labor in the sunny, humid dessert. Harsh treatment was rampant and Pharaoh (the Egyptian king) didn’t care how badly the slaves were treated.
As the story goes:
“G‑d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: ‘Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.’ But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G‑d’s command. G‑d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.
“At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G‑d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G‑d spared the children of Israel, ‘passing over’ their homes — hence the name of the holiday … The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand [families] left Egypt on that day and began the trek to Mount Sinai.”
As commanded, the Jewish people have passed the story of the Passover from generation to generation, retelling it every year over the course of their seder meals.
In celebration, we’ve gathered this collection of the most inspirational Passover quotes and bible verses that summarize what makes this holiday so special.
1. Enjoy and live in the moment.
“Passover is a time of reflection and joy. When we emerge from our cocoon of doubt to fly freely on the wings of faith.” — Unknown
2. Love your freedom and continue striving for it.
“Freedom is within our grasp, and Pesach reminds us that we need to reach.” — Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
3. You shape your reality.
“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 celebrates the freedom of slaves.
“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.” — Rabbi Morris Joseph
5. Freedom is a right given to all.
“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.” — Rabbi Morris Joseph
6. Interesting comparison.
“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. Freedom from bondage is no accident.
“In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” — Elie Wiesel
8. Remember who you are.
“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 Wanger
9. A time of reflection.
“The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day.” — Reb Nachman of Breslov
10. From generation to generation.
“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
11. Freedom is one when you remind yourself of the history of tyranny.
“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.” — Rabbi Shimon Raichik
12. Freedom and peace are intertwined.
“The cause of Freedom and the cause of Peace are bound together.” — Unknown
13. Remember the sacrifice your ancestors went through.
“Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for with a mighty hand, the Lord took you out of here, and [therefore] no leaven shall be eaten.'” — Exodus 13:3
14. Passover is a 7-8 day festival that celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
“And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and they made the Passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the grain of the land on the morrow of the Passover, unleavened cakes and parched grain on this very day.”— Joshua 5:10-11
15. And the Lord passed over us.
“And this is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste it is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord.” — Exodus 12:11
16. With gratitude for God’s protection.
“When you pass through water, I am with you, and in rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you go amidst fire, you shall not be burnt, neither shall a flame burn amongst you.” — Isaiah 43:2
17. The message never gets old.
“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.” — Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
18. Never again means not for us, and not for anyone else.
“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.” — Exodus 23:9
19. And everyone will be welcome.
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” — Leviticus 19:34
20. We are all responsible for one another.
“… I say to Him, ‘God is it okay to luff strangers?’ And God says to me, ‘Yitzak, vat is dis strangers? You make strangers. I don’t make strangers.’” — Kitchen Table Wisdom