Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Passover Pilgrimage (Virtually Speaking)

Originally, Jews celebrated Passover by making a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, where a Paschal Lamb was offered as a sacrifice to God, which we now remember through the symbol of the shank bone on the Seder plate. So it was not only appropriate, but indeed delightful to come across this YouTube video, A Virtual Passover Pilgrimage to Jerusalem's Old City. Here is what they have to say about it:

Passover, one of Judaism's three pilgrimage festivals, commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Throughout the holiday, and especially at the festive Seder dinner, Jews around the world relive the experiences of their ancestors, passing on their traditions to the next generation.

For thousands of years, every Seder has ended with the prayer "Next year in Jerusalem," expressing the eternal tie between the Jewish people and their capital, the holy city of Jerusalem. This is the perfect time to take a virtual stroll through Jewish sites in Jerusalem's Old City.

This year (2014), the seven day holiday is celebrated from sundown on Monday, April 15th until nightfall on Monday, April 21nd. (Outside Israel, the holiday is observed for eight days).

Eight days is the traditional period of observance, but in Reform Judaism we consider the original seven days to be sufficient, or as we say at the Seder, dayenu! And for those of us unable to hop on a plane and spend the Pesach holiday in Jerusalem, this virtual tour of the Old City will be sufficient as well:

The video is brought to us by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so click on the link and go take a look. And for those of you who are social media minded, here is some additional information they provide:

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And of course there's <>. Enjoy the tour, and have a happy Passover, Pilgrim!

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