In the first day of the month of Nissan, two weeks before the Exodus from Egypt, G‑d said to Moses and Aaron:

"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak unto all the congregation of Israel saying:

In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk.

And they shall take of the blood and put it on the two side posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it... And you shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.

And thus shall you eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste?it is the L?rd's Passover.

And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall be no plague upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and you shall celebrate it as a feast unto the Lord, throughout your generations.

"Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread, and put away all leaven from your houses. And it shall be when your children shall say unto you: What is the meaning of this service?

You shall say: It is the sacrifice of the Passover to G‑d who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses."

Moses told all this to the children of Israel, and they did as G?d had ordered them through Moses and Aaron.

Midnight of the fourteenth to the fifteenth of Nissan came, and G‑d smote all first born in the land of Egypt, from the first born of King Pharaoh, down to the firstborn of a captive in the dungeon, and all the first born of the cattle, exactly as Moses had warned.

There was a loud and bitter wail, for in each house a loved one lay fatally stricken. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron during that very night, and said to them:

"Arise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord as you have said; and take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also." At last, then, the pride of the stubborn king was broken.

Meanwhile the children of Israel had been preparing for their hasty departure. With beating hearts, they had assembled in groups to eat the paschal lamb.

They stood at the midnight meal, arrayed as they had been commanded. The women had taken from the ovens the unleavened cakes, which were eaten with the meat of the roasted lamb.

The sun had already risen above the horizon when, at the word of command, the whole nation of the children of Israel poured forth into the cool, still, eastern morning.

But not even amidst their trepidation and danger did they forget the pledge given by their ancestors to Joseph, and they carried his remains with them, to inter them later in the Land of Promise.

Thus the children of Israel were liberated from the yoke of their oppressors on the fifteenth day of Nissan, in the year 2448 after the creation of the world.

There were 600,000 men over 20 years of age who, with their wives and children, and flocks, crossed the border of Egypt as a free nation.

Many Egyptians and other non Israelites joined the triumphant children of Israel, hoping to share their glorious future.

The children of Israel did not leave Egypt destitute. In addition to their own possessions, the terrified Egyptians had bestowed upon them valuables of gold and silver, and clothing, in an effort to hasten their departure.

Thus G‑d fulfilled in every detail His promise to Abraham that his descendants would leave their exile with great riches.

Leading the Jewish people on their journey during the day was a pillar of cloud, and at night there was a pillar of fire, giving them light. These Divine messengers not only guided the children of Israel on their way, but also cleared the way before them, making it both easy and safe.