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According to the Bible, as related in the book of Exodus, the festival of Passover was instituted to commemorate the release of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It says the Israelites were in Egypt for about 430 years.

About the Passover festival it says, “And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, it is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses”.

The houses of the Israelites had to be marked so God would know which were their houses. He could then pass over the Israelites and not mistake them for Egyptians. The two side and the upper door posts of the houses where the Israelites lived were marked with the blood of a newly killed lamb to distinguish them from the houses where the Egyptians were. God said, “I will pass through the land of Israel this night and smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt”. He would kill “both man and beast”.

The Bible says, “And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn of Egypt”, so this mass killing by God occurred in just one night.

Throughout this Judaist holiday of Passover, or Pesach, unleavened bread, called matzah, is eaten, and at the Seder, a holiday meal, the Haggadah, which tells the Bible story, is read. Rabbis like to pretend this tale is history.

On 15th April 1945 British troops entered the Nazi concentration camp of Bergan Belsen in Germany. That historical event is well documented.

Dr. Jonathan Sacks, the then Chief Rabbi, used the 60th anniversary, which revealed this evidence of the existence of the terrible factories of death known as the Holocaust, to claim the story that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt 3,300 years ago was a similar historical event. However, there is no historical evidence from Egyptian or other local near contemporary sources for the story related in the Bible. It is not history.

The annual celebration of Passover is probably an old Spring Festival, or the merging of two festivals, one a pastoral feast, the other an agricultural one.

Dr. Sacks must know that the Israelites were not enslaved in Egypt as related in Exodus and that the story is legend, or myth, not history. Nevertheless that does not stop him relating the tale as if it is history, and the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme, 'Today', broadcasting the distortion without correction or comment.

Roy Saich
Blood on the door posts
Dr Sacks
Dr. Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, who can’t distinguish fiction from fact.
The Passover Myth