Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most important festivals in the Jewish calendar. It celebrates the Jews leaving Egypt and slavery behind them, and being led to freedom by Moses.
The Pharaoh at the time refused to set the Jewish people free, and so according to the stories God sent ten great plagues.
The first was that the water of the Nile turned to blood, killing everything that lived in it and making the water undrinkable. The second and third were frogs and bugs, which invaded every corner of the land, and the fourth was a horde of wild animals which trampled over the land, destroying everything in their path. The fifth was a pestilence which killed the Egyptians’ domestic animals, and the sixth was a painful plague of boils. When the pharaoh still refused to set the Jews free, there followed plagues of hail and locusts. The ninth plague was a darkness which fell on the land for several days, filling the Egyptians with fear.
Moses told the Pharaoh that if he did not free the Jewish people, God would send the worst plague of all. The Pharaoh still refused to set them free.
The Jews were then instructed to take a lamb for each household. On the 14th day of the month, they were to kill and eat it, and to mark their doors with the blood from the lamb. That night the first born of all the Egyptians died, but the Jews were kept safe because the lambs’ blood on their doors marked them as households where death should pass over them.
At last the Pharaoh agreed to let them go. They packed hurriedly and followed Moses out of Egypt. Jews celebrate this event every year as the Passover.
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