4. Keep Passover

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4. Keep Passover

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The fourth requirement is to keep meet during Passover.  The meeting will be on the Saturday of Passover.

You must eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day you must remove yeast from your houses. Whoever eats what is leavened from the first day through the seventh day must be cut off from Israel. You are to hold a sacred assembly on the first day and another sacred assembly on the seventh day.
Exodus 12:15-16

This has two requirements, to not eat leavened bread and to hold a sacred assembly.  Modern Judaism emphasizes the first of these requirements and ignores the second.  We require the second, and make the first optional.

Passover celebrates the exodus from Egypt which symbolizes freedom.  Freedom is the highest value in the Old Testament, which is why Passover is the most important holiday.  The requirement to meet makes sense, it is very important for people to get together to foster unity.  The reason for having this assembly applies just as well to us Mikraites as it did to the Israelites.  But we have an additional reason, as a way to weed out inactive members.  Failing to attend without good reason will result in the person being cut off from Mikraite.

There is no excuse to miss the meeting because one can easily plan for it in advance.  For example, google "passover 2017" and you will see that the rabbinic Passover is Monday, April 10 to Tuesday, April 18.  Remove the last day wrongly added by the rabbis and you get Monday, April 10 to Monday, April 17.  This means that the meeting is on Saturday, April 15.  We will all meet at this time and we will decide the location in advance each year.

There is a longer discussion of Passover here.