Byline: Cheryl Chojnacki
This month, many Fox Valley Jews will celebrate Passover traditionally as they do every Spring, but some - like Rabbi Leora Rosenberg-Meiszner - will bring a different perspective to the festival. Passover, the rabbi believes, is not just a commemoration of the Hebrews' deliverance from Egypt in the time of Moses.
Pesach, or Passover, is also a time to celebrate Jesus, "the fulfillment of the feast," she said.
With that in mind, Rosenberg-Meiszner and her Messianic ministry, Ha Mishkan David, invite Jews and Gentiles alike to a biblical Passover Seder at 4 p.m. April 19 at Comfort Suites, 2480 Bushwood Dr., Elgin.
The rabbi will explain the symbolism of Seder foods like unleavened bread and bitter herbs and will also "give Scriptures of how Yeshua was and is our Passover lamb," she said.
Rosenberg-Meiszner said the life of Yeshua - Jesus - as recorded in the New Testament fulfills many of the Old Testament Jewish prophecies.
At least one is even specific to the lamb, a central focus of Passover, as it was the blood of lambs smeared on Hebrew doorframes that caused the angel of death to "pass over" the Israelites' firstborn sons.
When the angel took the Egyptians' eldest, the Israelites were free to escape the land of their oppressors.
So how does this apply to Jesus?
For one thing, in Exodus 12, Moses instructs the people not to break the legs of the lambs that would be sacrificed for future Passover remembrances.
The rabbi finds this corresponds to the apostle John's account that Roman soldiers did not break Jesus' legs as they did of the two men crucified with him.
In John 1:29, John the Baptist refers to Jesus as "the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world."
Rosenberg-Meiszner said Jewish history also indicates that Jesus died on the cross at the same hour the priests would have finished slaughtering the lambs for that year's Passover.
And there are other parallels, she said.
"There are Scriptures, but people have to kind of dig in. Many times people forget that Jesus wasn't a Gentile, but he was a Jewish rabbi.
"Jesus was sent to fulfill the feast."
Matzah and bitter herbs serve their purpose as symbols, but this Pesach also will include more palatable foods such as chicken and Passover sweets.
There will be a time of praise and worship and Jewish dancing after the meal. …