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African Jews: Panafricanism or Zionism, Part II Parallelism by Muse Tegegne, Prof.

African Jews: Panafricanism or Zionism Part II Parallelism

The Zionism movement in Europe for creation of a Jewish Home Land and the Panafricanism   struggle in Diaspora for civil rights and the    liberation of  Africa from Colonialism have a  historical parallel.

Both movements were struggling  for their own dispersed population created ideological organizations called Zionism and Panafricanism.  They were led by two bright intellectuals of their time:-



Theodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

Both were born in the same decade Theodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl May 2,  1860 in Pest, the modern Budapest, While Dubois was born  February 23, 1868 in Great ArringtonMassachusetts. And both graduated from university with a Doctorate Degree as a minority in their respective society on the subject which most fit the need of their respective people.   1884 Herzl was awarded a Doctorate of law from the University of Vienna as being the first to  come of the minority Jews community. According to their decade of age deferent  in 1895 Du Bois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard  the most distinguished American University.

Herzl He became a writer, a playwright and a journalist  and founder of  Zionist Congress and founded Zionism as an ideology,  while Dubois  was a Civil Rights Activist, cofounded  NA ACP National Association the  for the Advancement of Colored People and most of all Panafricanism. As an  ideology which aspired  to these days  the unification of over 50 African countries since 1963.

And both  populations were  victims of  Holocausts, Slavery,  mass deportations  and  destructions  at one point of their  respective dispensation :-

Firstly six decades ago over 6 million Jewish perish in the Shoah in  the life time of Herzl and Dubois .

The Secondly   un accounted   millions of  Africans perish in the  trans- Atlantic salve trade that lasted over  400 years.  The  abduction Africans     started in 1442,according the late  Roger Bastid over 20 Million Africans died in this inhuman traffic.

Thirdly   the Hebrews were victims of ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman Slavery even as early as 1500 BCE with a continues inhuman depilation and deportations

Herzl started Zionism   as an arm  to fight   anti Semitism of  his time   in Paris in connection with the  Capitan Dreyfus   a Jewish officer victim of  anti-Semitism in his classic  book  “ The Jewish  State”  which he declared:-

“At Basle I founded the Jewish State If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it”

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Founded pan  African movement called  for “two land struggle “ for the liberation of Africa as a home land for all people of African descent,  and the emancipation of people of African descent in Americas. His Panafricanist movement becomes the corner stone to what is today known as the movement of Panafricanism.

The founding fathers of Zionism and Panafricanism Both Herzl and Du Bois followed the parallelism of their enlightenment period, that of the Jewish revival and the beginning of the emancipation of the people of African descent at home and Diaspora.

1897  both Joseph Herzl and W.E.B. Du-Bois 13 years after the beginning of  Scramble for Africa  held  congress in parallel one  for the creation of  a home land for the Jews the other for the creation of liberated and independent home land for the people of African descent.

In 1897 symbolically William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 400 years after the 1st slave abducted  in Americas, and 40 years  before the creation of Ghana(1957) as the first independent state of Liberated Africa,   with the help of   Henry Sylvester-Williams, held  the 1st African congress  in Trinidad.  Dubois made the famous declaration on his speech on the color bar in the 1s African Association ever held in history:

“The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line “

The 1897 Panafrican and Jewish congress   were held a year after great African victory against European colonialism at Adwa by the King of Kings Menelik II of Ethiopia in 1896.  The victory halted the Scramble for Africa that started after the Berlin Conference in 1884/85.  Such historical victory gave a hope for all the people victim of subjugation and domination. It was highly veneered by the People of African descent. Menelik II of Ethiopia ushered the beginning of   the emancipation and liberation of Africans at home and Diaspora. Many Europeans recognized his sovereignty and established a diplomatic representation at his court in Addis Ababa.

Dark Days

In the coming dark  days of the 2nd WW for the  Africans and Jews , Dubois  declared when  Fascist  Mussolini  gazed the only independent  black kingdom in Africa  and his  pride  1938 :

“Ethiopia proud and Free has come to the thinking Negro African descent the symbol of the aspiration of Black people for independence for self determination and The animation of that is the best in Modern Civilization” W.D.B. Dubois”

Destiny endowed both Du Bois in Germany and Herzl in Vienna to  study  and master  the German langue and mentality  in post Bismarck era, and later to  watch the epic  of Nazism.  When the Holocaust  befallen on the Jewish people in the second world war Dubois immediately did not  hesitate making the  parallelism of the two victims    that of the Ethiopians by Fascism and the Jewish by Nazism most of  all his people in Americas declaring :-

“An attack on civilization, comparable only to such horrors as the Spanish Inquisition and the African slave trade”

In post war period both manifested a socialist outlook for a society as they are connected by the vibration of their epoch in their respected cosmogonigcal connection.  Dubois created a landmark work in early U.S. Marxist sociology and became a member of US left while Herzl was helping the creation of socialist state of Israel through his consecutive congresses.

Herzl and Dubois Progenitors in the Jewish State

Herzl    never thought in his wildest dream that the  Africans will be  claiming to be a Jew dispersed in the darkest forest of the African historical jungle.  Even David Ben-Gurion never has the African Jews in his equation when he declared the Jewish state 62 years ago.   The Jewish state was established according the Balfour Declaration in 1917 for the Jewish of European origin victim of Hitler’s atrocities after the WWI later  the Holocaust of WWII.  The first consideration  for the Jews Home Land was Argentina later Uganda with no avail.

In Herzl time Africa just joined the  world history through the victory of Menelik II in 1896 and the pre WWII Mussolinian genocide against the innocent Ethiopians.

All the Jews know the claim of the Ethiopians king that he descended form the Line of Judah and the Israelite Organization from Paris brought him a statute of Golden lion in his coronation in 1930. Though Herzl was a keen reader of the Holy book and the Antiquates of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, the Ethiopians  were not in his master plan in the blue print of Jewish State as conceived in Basel Switzerland. He might have took them as Cushiem and considered Sheba as simple one of King Solomon’s mistresses  like most of the Jewish religious leader attribute to Solomon.  But Dubois his contemporary in his famous book The Negro in 1915 declared to the world about these peculiar nation:-

“Africa its very names reveal its mystery and wide-reaching influence. It is the Ethiopia the Greek, the “Kush and Punt of the Egyptians, and the Arabian and Land of the Blacks. To modern Europe it the “Dark Continent”…

The Melting Pot of creed and Color

The two great thinkers of their time today in the 21st century made a new renedez -vous with destiny.  This was done through their progenitors in  the Jewish State made and prepared by the Herzl in 1897 as a  contemporary of   Dubos’.

In the Jewish State today the Ethiopians the most beloved of Dubois and the people of African descent joined the dream of Herzl.  The Ethiopians are the new Bet-Israel or the Flasha-Moras and the African Americas are the Black Hebrews. Both groups are victim of intolerance by the same people Herzl fought for  in pre and post 1st and 2nd WW period against Racism and anti-Semitism. Let us hear Herzl  tell us what he thinks about the situation in Israel today:-

How can Jews, who demand emancipation in Russia, rob rights and act selfishly toward other workers upon coming to Eretz Israel? If it is possible for many a people to hide fairness and justice behind cannon smoke, how and behind what shall we hide fairness and justice? We should absolutely not deceive ourselves with terrible visions. We shall never possess cannons, even if the goyim shall bear arms against one another for ever. Therefore, we cannot but settle in our land fairly and justly, to live and let live.(Meir Dizengoff (writing as “Dromi”) “The Workers Question,” Hatzvi, September 21, 22, 1909)

Since the Mass immigration operation Moses and Shelomo from Ethiopia in the mid 80’s and early 90’ racism in Israel against black in   Africans is getting worst every day.

Ben-Yehuda in his dictionary defined the Word Cush as being back and “Negro” . Cush was the  Ethiopia’s generic term in the Bible.  Here it is taken as the contest of cursed seed of Noah.  The exact word without  stigma is   Shakor meaning Black .  Today in Israel   Blacks   are seen as inferior in the new social  cast system in the contrary to the paradigm set by Herzl.  In the last 6 decades the Israeli Sabras (1) are shown high tolerance in socialization the African Jews in particular and the Blacks in general.  When it comes to the news immigrants they have demonstrated the stereotype they inherited from their foster society.

Today the Jews immigrating to Holy Land had brought and  perpetuated the roots of their hate from the different ethnic minorities they originated from. The Israeli melting pot if any is  seems nonexistent calling those darker Cushiem (2) and Mulatos Ginigin. (3)

More than the greater division Ashkenazi (4) Vis Sephardic here comes Yemenite Jews with darker complex to occupy the last strata  as the early immigrant of the Herzl’s Jewish State. When it comes to the Indian Jews the road was cleaned by the Yemenite but one thing they have to do Berit Mila(5) and Netifat Dem(6) which is blood splitting to be accepted to the main stream of Israeli melting pot.  The bad news for many stereotyped Jews were the arrival of the “Cushiem” according to the term of Ben Yahuda’s early  definition in his dictionary.  They were recognized  by the Sephardim Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as  a full flagged Jew; he is the   most important living halachic authority in post war Israel.   The stereotypes criticized his move as a revenge for the treatment given to him by the Ashkenazim when he emigrated from Iraq.  The Ethiopian Cushiem has to be fully converted since they were considered in the beginning   to be taken as a humanitarian Aid for Africa. They start having another name more than the generic term “Cushiem” which is Memezerim (7). When an Israeli is mad at you he will call you Memezere, it is the worst of all the insults. These Africans  not only they are memzeriem but also considered as the source all the disease on earth and they need to be put to  a ghettos Shkunates like Ashkelon, Ashdod etc. These are place once habited by the Arabs first given to the news immigrant Sepharads. When the Sephardim start to integrate with the Ashkenazim moving to main Israeli cities they became more racist than the Ashkenazim themselves who  lived and were majority suffered in the  Horrible Holocaust. Passing through the Shaoah  that will not give   anyone an outright  excuse to persecute others. Today the generation of the Exudes is phasing out and those Arabic and Iberian Jews are  getting out  stock too for further Alya  form  the countries of their origin. The new comers are  those from Ethiopia with cross on their foreheads. These are Ethiopian Orthodox Christians once who were Hebrews and later endorsed Christianity known as “Falasha “Moras”. They are considered as the Russian Orthodox Christen converted Jews who immigrated to Israel. The Ethiopian central plateau over 30 Million souls now practicing Christianity could have the right to be “Felasha Mora “according to the   Sheba Solomon Paradigm and the news DNA Coheniem test. Let us imagine 5o years from now all Israelis will be Cusihiem and memzerim at all cost if these continues. It is a high time for  Israel get its polices together by respecting the people  of African descent as a full fledged citizens.

Here comes the last scenario in the Israeli conflict trodden melting pot. Last but least all the Ibogs about 30 million soul are calming to be Jews from Nigeria, but they need another Ovadia Yosef to recognize them. That might be the new Ethiopian Qese (8) of the next generation born in Israel to assure their place in the political scenario they will definitively recognize them as a full-fledged Jews. We forget the South African Jews of Zimbabwe, the Shonas called Lembas  their  DNA is found to be more Jewish than the Ashkenazim and Sephardim together.

At last one thing is left that it would be better the Jews to come to the dream of Dubois  than the Africans go to Herzl’s, since the Israeli melting pot seems impossible qualitatively to integrate the Africans due to the deep rotted stereotype they brought with them from centuries of anti Semitism and racism, or quantitatively to make an Exodus for the people of African origin in mass when more and more trumpets are blown for the ingathering of the “Lost tribes”.

Semites and Africans

We did not say a word concerning the Palestinians place in Herzl’s Jewish State.  Their DNA is more Semitic than most of the Ashkenazim who lost it in theirs dispersion traversing the Caucus Mountains. With all these black numbers increasing through  immigrations or border crossing   the Palestinians must claim one man one vote  calling the spirit  of Mandela.  This is  as the best way out  as a temporary   solution   for one land two people alternative. Today  two state  solution seems far , bloody ,  costly and  if   realizable   but at what price?

When it comes to the American Gringo Jews the situation has been different. They have lived among the  what the call “Cushiem” in America like that of the Afrikaner Jewish in the Apartheid Azania.  In Americas the Arabs and the Jews  role in the Slavery is commensurately large. Today Black anti-Semitism and Jewish racism has also immigrated to   the Holy Land.  Israel is pushing the Egypt to stop immigration of African through Sinai to the holy land.  Once again the Semitic alliance :- Jews and Arabs join when it comes to act against the Africans, one by building barriers walls, and the other by shooting innocent refugees crossing the borders. They failed dramatically when it comes to  solve the Palestinian Question together ?

Notes

  1. 1. Sabras Israeli  born Jews
  2. 2. Cushiem Africans, Blacks, “Negros”
  3. 3. Ashkenazi European and North American Jews
  4. 4. Sephardic Jews from the middle east and Asia minor including the Iberian Peninsula
  5. 5. Berit Mila Circumcision
  6. 6. Netifat Dem Blood splitting
  7. 7. Memezerime batard or born form illegal marriage
  8. 8. Qese Ethiopian priestess practicing  according to the ancient Hebraic law and today’s orthodox   Christian priests share the same name  off times called Khan from Cohen in Hebrew. 

Muse Tegegne, Prof.  of  Sociology

Jerusalem- IDF Major Acused Of Using The ‘N’ Word Against Ethiopian Soldier

Photo illustration Ethiopian IDF soilder

Jerusalem – An Ethiopian soldier serving at an Air Force base in southern Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice Thursday over racial slurs hurled at him by a senior officer.

The soldier asked the court to order IDF officials to explain why disciplinary action was not being taken against a major whom he claims called him an “annoying nigg*r.”
The private filed the petition against several high-ranking officials, including the IDF chief of staff and the Air Force commander.
The soldier claims the major told his commander: “That nigg*r soldier of yours pisses me off.” When told that the soldier in question was there and could hear the comments, the major said: “I know.”
After the incident the soldier says his commander gave him a day off, which he used to schedule a meeting with the base commander. The latter, for his part, arranged a meeting between the major and the soldier two days later, during which the former said he did not remember uttering those words and that they may have been taken out of context.
“I know you have personal problems, and I’ll do my best to help you from here,” the soldier says he was told by the senior officer.
He claims that beyond this, he received no apology from the major, adding that no disciplinary measures were taken against the senior officer who continued to serve as his commander.
The soldier then complained to the IDF complaints commissioner, who replied that despite the racism apparent in the remark, he saw no reason to intervene because high-ranking officials at the base had already taken care of the matter and the major had shown remorse.
In the petition, the private says that on another occasion, the major refused to shake his hand. The petitioner also questions why the officer was not being discharged from his position and why criminal proceedings were not being initiated against him.

“Israeli society suffers from severe ailments in everything relating to the absorption of the Ethiopian community, and we must respond harshly to racism in order to fight and minimize this, publicly and punitively,” the petition says.

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Israeli minister in Ethiopian racism row

By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
Published: 12:01AM BST 03 Aug 2007

Meir Sheetrit,

Meir Sheetrit: not really Jewish

Israel’s interior minister faces accusations of racism after he suggested suspending the policy of allowing Ethiopians with Jewish ancestry to move to the country.

In remarks that incensed the large Falasha community already in Israel, he implied that Ethiopians were fleecing the state by leaving the economic hardship of their birthplace and enjoying comfortable new lives in Israel.

“Who needs them?” he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. “They are all Christians. We need to take care of the future of Israel and this immigration will never finish.”

His comments were denounced as racist by senior members of the Falasha community who pointed out that Jews from white countries were allowed into Israel without any question from the authorities.

“The way he is expressing himself has a smell of racism about it because he would not say such statements to any other immigrants from America or Russia,” said Avraham Neguise, chairman of the Representatives of Ethiopian Immigrant Organisations in Israel.

“His remarks are unacceptable and irresponsible. The state of Israel is the home for every Jew and is it not the minister’s private home.

“These people have been described and identified as part of Jewish Ethiopian community by the chief rabbinate. They are our blood, our flesh and our bones.”

Ethiopians who come to Israel often complain of not being able to find good jobs and experiencing discrimination.

Some claim that Israel imposes a quota of 600 Falasha being allowed into Israel each month.

Others complain that Israel used the Falasha cynically to boost the population as part of the demographic battle with the Palestinians, who have a high birth rate.

The Falasha are said to be the descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel that trekked south and set up home in the Horn of Africa.

The claim was strong enough to convince Israeli rabbinical authorities in the 1980s and 1990s when 90,000 were allowed into Israel.

The first Falasha to move to Israel were unquestionably Jewish. But a new group calling themselves the Falash Mura emerged.

They were Ethiopians living a Christian lifestyle but who claimed to have been forced to convert to Christianity from Judaism.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

17880 Made Israel Their Home in 5770

Immigration to Israel jumps in 5770

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Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism

Israel’s treatment of Ethiopiansracist

Ethiopian community hit hard by discrimination – Israel News

Olmert: Ethiopian Jews are right to feel discriminated against .

Enoch the Secret Codex of Ancient Abyssinia a Blue print for 2012, Enoch Never Died !!!

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The Book of Enoch Proved by the Dead Sea Scrolls

Enoch Fragment

The Book of Enoch (also 1 Enoch[1]) is a work ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah and son of Jared (Genesis 5:18).

This book today is non-canonical and considered pseudepigraphical in most Christian churches. However, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to this day regards it to be canonical.

Genesis 5:18-24 [18] Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. [19] After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [20] So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. [21] Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. [22] After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [23] So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. [24] And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0WdO6KlFwg

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGXmfTK5OvA

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1)  The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be 2)  living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said –Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is 3)  for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, 4)  And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai,
[And appear from His camp]
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens. And all shall be smitten with fear
And the Watchers shall quake,
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.

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6)  And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame.

7)  And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder,
And all that is upon the earth shall perish,
And there shall be a judgement upon all (men).

8)  But with the righteous He will make peace,
And will protect the elect,
And mercy shall be upon them.

And they shall all belong to God,
And they shall be prospered,
And they shall all be blessed.

And He will help them all,
And light shall appear unto them,
And He will make peace with them.

9)  And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:

And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

2

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0AzCIzDf6I

The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said –Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai,
[And appear from His camp]
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens. And all shall be smitten with fear
And the Watchers shall quake,
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.

And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame.

And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder,
And all that is upon the earth shall perish,
And there shall be a judgement upon all (men).

But with the righteous He will make peace,
And will protect the elect,
And mercy shall be upon them.

And they shall all belong to God,
And they shall be prospered,
And they shall all be blessed.

And He will help them all,
And light shall appear unto them,
And He will make peace with them.

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:

And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9fPa8mGcEk

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Pesah Fasika Easter Pâque

We  wish happy Pesah Fasika Easter Pâque

yellow-candles

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The 2010 Easter Date applies to the western calendar (Catholic and Protestant Churches), and also to the The Eastern Orthodox church. This is an unusual event since the two branches of Christianity have different methods for calculating the correct date for Easter. There are only a few years each century when the Easter dates match like this so Easter 2010 is seen as extra special.

The Ethiopian Easter  is more Jewish than christian in its practices. The lamp is scrified for over 60% of the house hold in Ethiopia this is done with the same ritual to that of the ancient Hebrews. However in the rest of the Christian world the sacrificed has ceased since Jesus  gave his life as  the Lamb of the Lord on the Cross.

The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) . The final three holidays (Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

(Leviticus 23:5) (1 Corinthians 5:7)

GIF Animation  of a Menorah

The Passover and Unleavened Bread

4 “ ‘These are the Lord’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times:  5The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.  6 On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast.  7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.  8 For seven days present an offering made to the Lord by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’ ”

Firstfruits

9 The Lord said to Moses,  10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.  11 He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.  12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect,  13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephaha of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made to the Lord by fire, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hinb of wine.  14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

Feast of  Hebrew Weeks

Jesus Fulfilled the Jewish FeastsPassover seder plate with charoset, parsley, roasted bone, roasted egg and bitter herbs (maror)

Why does the Easter date move every year?

in the year 325AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine got the early Christian leaders together at Nicea to fix matters of doctrine and dates of important Christian events such as Easter. They chose the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox; (as opposed to Christmas day which they fixed as 25th December).

httpvdh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPid9BLQQcg

Judeo-Christian origins of Easter:

A very common theme present in many ancient Pagan religions described the life of a man-god — a savior of humanity — his execution, his visit to the underworld, his resurrection after two or three days, and his ascension to heaven. The life of Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ) as recorded in the Gospels includes the Christian version of this theme. Good Friday is observed in remembrance of Jesus’ execution by the occupying Roman army, and his burial in a cave-tomb. Easter Sunday is the date when a group of his female followers first noticed the empty tomb, and concluded that he had either been resurrected, or his body had been stolen.

The timing of the Christian celebration of Easter is linked to the Jewish celebration of the Passover. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were observed by the ancient Israelites early in each new year. (The Jewish people followed the Persian/Babylonian calendar and started each year with the Spring Equinox circa MAR-21). “Equinox” means “equal night;” on that date of the year, the night and day are approximately equal. The name “Passover” was derived from the actions of the angel of death as described in the book of Exodus. The angel “passed over” the homes of the Jews which were marked with the blood obtained from a ritual animal sacrifice. The same angel exterminated the first born(s) of every family whose doorway was not so marked – one of the greatest acts of mass-murder mentioned in the Bible. Victimized were first-born sons as well as the first-born of domesticated animals.

Passover was the most important feast of the Jewish calendar, celebrated at the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. (The Equinox typically occurs on March 20, 21 or 22 according to our present calendar.)  The Gospels differ on the date of Jesus’ execution:

The Synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) state that Jesus’ last supper was a Seder – a Passover celebration at the start of 15th Nisan, just after sundown. (Jewish days begin at sundown and continue until the next sundown). Jesus was executed later that day and died about 3 PM.
The gospel of John states that the last supper at the beginning of 14th Nisan. Jesus is recorded as having died on the afternoon of 14th Nisan.

Most theologians reject John’s timing. They assume that John chose a false date for symbolic reasons. He made Jesus’ execution synchronize with the sacrifice of the Pascal lamb in the Temple at Jerusalem. If Jesus was murdered on a Friday, then Passover would have fallen on a Thursday. This happened both in the years 30 and 33 CE.Passover (Pesach) Matzah and Kiddush Cup

Many theologians accept an execution date of Friday, 30-APR-7 CE as correct. However, this date does produce some difficulties with the timing of Jesus’ ministry. Most theologians reject the inference in the Gospel of John that Jesus taught over an interval in excess of two years and less than four years. An early crucifixion date is compatible with a one-year ministry, as implied in the Synoptic gospels where only a single Passover is mentioned. Some authorities prefer the date of 33-APR-3 CE. However, this late timing causes problems in other ways. It does not seem to allow sufficient time for Saul’s persecutions of Christians, Paul’s conversion, his three-year absence from Palestine, and his early evangelism before the Jerusalem Council was held. In 1733, the great British scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, computed two likely dates: 33-APR-7 and 34-APR-23. He preferred the latter. The AD 34 choice has few supporters today; it conflicts with the date of Paul’s conversion. Also, it requires that five Passovers had occurred during Jesus’ ministry and depends on a reference of the corn at Passover in Luke 6:1. These are not considered compelling. 1

Most Christians believe that Jesus Christ was executed and buried just before the beginning of Passover on Friday evening. A minority believe that the execution occurred on a Wednesday or Thursday. Various dates other than the two above have been suggested:

30-APR-5 CE, a Wednesday
30-APR-6 CE, a Thursday
31-APR-26 CE, a Thursday
32-APR-10 CE, a Thursday

Some liberal Christians have suggested that the actual date of Jesus’ execution is unknown, that it might have happened at any time during the year, and that the early Christian church arbitrarily selected Passover as the time. This allowed them to link the most important religious days in Judaism and Christianity. It also allowed the human sacrifice of Jesus (“Christ our paschal lamb” in 1 Corinthians 5:7) to be linked to the sacrifice of the Pascal lamb in the Jewish Temple.

Other theologians have suggested that Yeshua of Nazareth never existed, or that he lived centuries earlier, or that he was never crucified. Over one billion Muslims in the world believe that he was not executed by the Roman Army.

Passover, otherwise known as the spring festival, celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from captivity and slavery by the Egyptians. According to Jewish law, Passover begins on 15 Nisan, lasting for seven days in Israel and eight for Jews living in the Diaspora.The literal translation for Passover or Pesach in Hebrew derives from when God when slewing the first-born (Exodus 12: 23) as the last of the eight curses imposed upon the Egyptians to passed over the houses of the children of Israel. In modern times, within the Diaspora, the festival came to be known as Passover, although many Jews refer to the festival as the Hag Ha-Matzot, meaning ‘the Festival of Unleavened Bread’.

The Hebrews Peshah

This is what typifies Passover for most Jews, the fact that eating leavened bread (hametz) is forbidden, and eating only unleavened bread (matzah) is allowed during the entire duration of the festival. (Exodus 23: 15; Leviticus 23: 6; Deuteronomy 16: 16).

As part of Halakhich law, on the night before Passover begins (14 Nisan), every Jewish home must be thoroughly searched and any hametz removed from the house. Many observant Jews observe the tradition of carrying out a last minute token search for hametz using a candle and feather to brush away any last crumbs that may have been overlooked. A prayer is then offered declaring any hametz that may have been overlooked be rendered void.

In modern Israel, it has become common practice for a non-Jewish person to make a ritual purchase of all hametz stored in the country’s warehouses, as Israel imports all her wheat. At the end of the festival, the hametz is sold back to the country, at a token profit.

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Preparing of matzah must be carried out under the rules of kashrut and under the strictest of supervision. In Israel, there are many specialist bakeries that produce only Matzot, as they keep all year round. Special care is required to be taken, whilst the dough is being kneaded and whilst it is being baked. The supervisory ritual, known as shemirah is to prevent the dough from fermenting so that it doesn’t rise. As is the case with many other aspects of Judaism, there are arguments as to what stage the shemirah should begin.

The fact is that many find eating matzah hard to bear and desist from eating bread altogether for the duration of Passover, apart from a single piece that is obliged to be eaten during the Li’l Haseder (Seder night) ritual which takes place on the first night of Passover. Jewish people in the Diaspora hold two Seders, on the first and second nights of Passover.

Passover is one of the most enjoyable, family orientated festivals in the Jewish religion and celebrating Seder together with families and friends is the highlight of their religious year.

Seder in Hebrew means order, and when used to describe the service and festive meal held on the first (and second) nights of Passover, maintaining the order or sequence of events holds great significance. A special prayer book known as the Haggadah acts as a program for the evening, laying out in considerable detail the order of the event as they are supposed to happen.

A literal translation for the word Haggadah is “telling” ‘, and indeed, the Haggadah tells the story of the Jews coming out of Egypt and their need to pass on the story of their Exodus into the desert and their subsequent freedom for generations to come.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the Talmud mentions the story of the Exodus, no formal Haggadah was printed for thousands of years. Today the Haggadah exists in around 2,000 formats containing not only specific instructions on how the Seder table be laid out as well as how the service be conducted.

Most importantly, the Seder table should be bedecked with a white tablecloth, on which should be placed the various artifacts that are the focal points of the service. First of all, a set of candlesticks with lit candles lit should be placed on the table, beside the Seder plate. The Seder plate is where all the foods that need to be eaten during the service should be placed, each with their own special significance. These are:

  • Matzot: Unleavened bread, three in number, representing that when the Jews went out of Egypt, they had no time to wait for their bread dough to rise. The Matzot are placed on a special plate and covered with a specially embroidered Matzah cover.
  • Maror: These are bitter herbs, representing the bitter and tough lives of the Hebrew slaves.
  • Charoset: This is a paste made from apples, almonds and wine, to remind Jews of the mortar used to build the Pyramids with a sweet taste to represent the sweetness of freedom.
  • Salt Water: This represents the tears of the oppressed Hebrews.
  • Parsley: To dip in the salt water.
  • A Roasted Bone: This is to represent the Paschal lamb that was slaughtered during the days of the Temple when Passover was first celebrated.
  • A Roasted Egg: This represents a reminder of the festival offering

Once the father of the Seder has inspected the table and made sure that all is in order, then the Seder can begin.

First of all Kiddush (benediction) over the first cup of wine is taken. Anyone at the table, who has passed the age of bar mitzvah, is allowed to drink wine at the Seder table.

The next stage is to break the middle slice of Matzah into two parts, with one half being set aside as the afikoman (dessert). The parsley on the Seder plate is then dipped into the bowl of salt water and passed around by the “Ab Haseder” (father of the Seder) to be eaten.

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The next stage is when the youngest person at the table (who has been Bar mitzvah) is allowed to ask the “Four Questions” Usually this segment of the service is treated very lightly, with the person who has been given the task of asking these questions suffering from stage fright and being egged on by the rest of the family and friends around the table. The questions basically ask” why is tonight different from all other nights” and pertain to the sudden change in circumstances of Jewish people during their Exodus from Egypt. The four questions are answered by the guests in a light hearted and frivolous manner but in strict accordance with what is written in the Haggadah.

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