Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Doves and Daffodils

Chag HaMatzot, the "Festival of Unleavened Bread" in English, or simply Passover, begins on Friday. I have slowly been preparing for the festival, which probably requires more work than any other festival in the Jewish calendar. Preparations for Passover require us to rid our homes of chametz (the Hebrew term for "leavened bread"), to remind us that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise. Some time in the next couple of days I will pack away all our kitchen utensils and bring out ones that we only use during Passover. It is an exhausting job preparing for this particular festival but soon it will all be done and I will be able to relax and enjoy the seven day holiday and all the activity that comes with it. The fun really begins on the intermediate days of the holiday, Chol HaMoed (the non-holy part of the festival when we are permitted to do many activities but should still try to avoid work), and I look forward to showing you photos of some of the fabulous places that we plan to visit during this enjoyable week.
My Passover cards show a Dove of Peace with an olive branch in its beak, hovering near a Star of David placed on a background of Matza (unleavened bread). The festival of Passover commemorates the Jews' exodus from Egypt more than 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people’s freedom and independence. The Torah (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—the first five books of the Bible) describes a story in which a dove was released by Noah after the Great Flood in order to find land. The dove came back carrying an olive branch in its beak, telling Noah that the Great Flood had receded and there was land once again for Man (Genesis 8:11). This story has led to the dove and the olive branch becoming symbols of peace or a peace offering from one man to another, as in the phrase "extend an olive branch". The white dove on my card thus symbolises peace and freedom.
Whilst Jewish people here in Israel and worldwide are busy preparing for Passover, Easter is also approaching. It wouldn't be Easter without some "daffs" (as my flower arranger Mum used to call the sunny, yellow daffodil), and I enjoyed cutting these lovely flowers for my Easter cards.
I would like to wish those of you celebrating Easter a bright and happy holiday, and a "Chag kasher v'same'ach" (חג כשר ושמח) (a happy and kosher Passover) to my Jewish family and friends.


Quinn said...

I love the Passover cards with a different piece of Matzoh on each :)
Enjoy your travels next week!

TexWisGirl said...

i like them both, but love the dove of peace showing hope for mankind. :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

The cards are beauties. Enjoy Passover preparations! We celebrate Easter but no daffodils yet in my part. Unfortunately there is still snow on the ground!