Chad Pesach Sameach! Happy Passover!
Passover is the annual Jewish celebration commemorating the Israelites' escape from enslavement in Egypt. In the Book of Exodus, God sends the "Angel of Death" over Egypt, directed to kill every firstborn child and animal. But the captive Israelites were instructed to mark the lintels of their dwellings with lamb's blood, thus marking their homes for preservation. The Angel of Death would then "pass-over" the homes of the Jewish believers, thus sparing them.
Like many Jewish festivals, it begins at Sundown on the previous evening—today, 5 April. This year, Passover concludes on the evening of Thursday 13 April.
Modern Jews celebrate with special family dinners—seders—on one or more of the nights, frequently the first two. Certain foods are a traditional part of the Passover Seder (bitter herbs, horseradish, fruits and nuts) while other items (leavened wheat products) are forbidden. Highly observant families keep a special set of dishes for Passover, thus ensuring that there is no cross-contamination with leavening or leavened foods.
Christians mark Passover in their own way, too. Jesus's "Last Supper" was a Passover meal, celebrated in Jerusalem with his disciples. Catholics, in particular, commemorate this Seder meal as the highpoint of every Mass with the consecration of the Eucharist. An evening Mass on "Holy Thursday" (in the lead-up to Easter) memorializes this Last Supper. Good Friday is observed the following day.
The collection of art pottery, shown above, is a palette of blues and white—the traditional colors of Passover (and Israel in general).
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248