Celebrating Redemption as a Process
The holiday of Passover begins on March 25th, but most Americans, Jews as well as Christians, don’t realize the festival actually lasts eight days rather than the one or two days commonly observed. The Bible directs the Israelites to abstain from work at the beginning of the holiday, then allows a resumption to toil during its intermediary days, but orders a return to full holiday mode at Passover’s conclusion.
In Deuteronomy 16:8, regarding the Passover Festival, God commands, “The seventh day shall be an assembly to the Lord your God and you shall not perform labor.” The point is that liberation, the theme of the festival, never occurs in an instant; redemption in Judaism is a process, not an overnight transformation. That process begins with the Exodus from Egypt but only with the Red Sea miracle, associated with Passover’s final days, does liberation become irrevocable.