- Shulchan Orech
- Discussion about the Korban Pesach
- Messiah’s last observance of Pesach
#10. Shulchan Orech:
Eating the Meal (The Feast). The holiday meal is now served. We begin the meal with a hard-boiled egg dipped into saltwater. A rabbi was once asked why Yehudim (Jews) eat eggs on Passover. “Because eggs symbolize the Yehudi (Jew),” the rabbi answered. “The more an egg is burned or boiled, the harder it gets.” Shulchan Orech. It is time to eat. So put down your haggadah, lean back, and enjoy some matzah ball soup and other delicious food for the holiday. There is a minhag (custom) to eat a hard boiled egg (baitzah) dipped in salt water at the start of the Passover meal. According to tradition, this is meant to remind us of the crossing of the Reed Sea (or it is done in place of the korban chagiga (festival offering) made the night before the Korban Pesach (Passover lamb) was eaten during the time of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple).
Discussion about the Korban Pesach:
During the meal it is also important to discuss how the Korban Pesach was offered in time of the Temple, including how the kohanim (priests) would slaughter all the lambs that were brought to the azara (courtyard) on erev Pesach. The blood of the lamb was caught in a pan and then passed from one kohen to another until it reached the kohen standing at the altar, who would pour it out on the lower part of the altar. While this was happening, the Levites would be singing hallel (praise) to the L-rd. Afterward, each lamb’s hide was pulled off, the flesh was salted, and certain parts of the lamb were burned upon the altar to Adonai. Finally, the remainder was given to the offerer who took it home to be roasted whole over an open fire. Afterwards, the family would gather and eat some of the meat of the Korban Pesach with matzah and maror. The following blessing would be recited before eating the Passover lamb:
“Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to eat the Pesach.”
“Adonai Eloheynu melekh ha’olam asher kiddeshanu bemitsvotav v’tsivanu ‘al achilat Pesakh.”
The Pesach offering was lifted up for all who were gathered to see. Then the question, “Why do we eat this Pesach offering?” was asked. Everyone present would retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt and also partake of the matzah and maror.
The Messiah’s last observance of Pesach:
The Suffering Messiah’s last observance of Pesach began a week before the Festival actually began (Brit Chadashah, the Besorah of Yochanan). After visiting his friend Lazarus and his sisters in Bethany, Messiah Ben Joseph went to Jerusalem just before the city became filled with pilgrims coming to celebrate the holiday. On the 9th of Nisan (the first day of the week) He entered the city, riding on a donkey to announce His messiahship (this was the time the Korban Pesach was being selected for the sacrifice and presented to the public). He was greeting with exclamations:
“Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”
“Baruch habah b’shem Adonai.”
Examined for four days before His sacrifice (execution) for the sin of the world, the Messiah was found to be the true Seh haElohim (Lamb of the Almighty One). He was without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. The Suffering Messiah was without sin. He was the Perfect Man. Like the original Passover in Egypt, the sacrifice of the Lamb causes the wrath of the Holy One to “pass over” those who are trusting in our heavenly Father’s provision for redemption. However, in the case of the sacrifice of the Mashiach, the everlasting Son of G-d, His once-in-eternity sacrifice delivers us from sin and forever puts away the wrath of the Righteous Father from our lives.