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Why is Passover the Most Celebrated Jewish holiday in America?


Why is Passover the Most Celebrated Jewish holiday in America?

By Rabbi Brad Hirschfield Published April 14,

Simply put, like America itself, Passover is about freedom.  It celebrates the eternal quest for human dignity and the freedom which is perhaps the greatest expression of that dignity.

Nowhere, and at no time, in 3,000 years of Jewish history have Jews known the kind of centuries-long freedom and security which are the American Jewish experience. The Passover story of freedom — of the journey from oppression to opportunity — is also the American story at its best, not just for Jews but for all people, and it rings deeply true when it is told at Seder tables across this nation.

Passover and Our Founding Fathers

The Exodus from Egypt was central in the minds of the new United States’ Founding Fathers.  When Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams gathered to create a seal for our nation, Franklin chose a design of Moses extending his hand over the Red Sea, thereby overwhelming Pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand.  Rays in the clouds were drawn as reaching out to Moses, expressing that he acted by command of God.

The motto included was: “Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God,” which was later adopted by Jefferson as his personal motto.

Moses Was A Hero to the Pilgrims

Moses was an American hero long before there was a United States of America. The Pilgrims described themselves as the chosen people fleeing their own pharaoh, King James. When they set sail on The Mayflower in 1620, they carried Bibles emblazoned with Moses leading the Israelites to freedom.  Then as now, they found themselves in the story of leaving Egypt.

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