I want to share something interesting about the word PESACH which is usually translated into English as “Passover”.
The first thing I want to point out is that contrary to what is commonly taught, the word PESACH has zero connection to the English word “pass over”.
PESACH does NOT mean “to pass over”.
The actual Hebrew word for “to pass over” is OH-VAYR (Ayin, vav, and resh).
Allow me to explain further.
From the same word PESACH, we have an interesting adjective derived from it called PEE-SAY-ACH which means “lame”.
In Hebrew, these two words are spelled exactly the same with a PEY, SAMECH and CHET.
פָּ֫סַח is PESACH (usually incorrectly translated as “passover”).
פִּסֵּ֫חַ is lame.
Again, note that these two words are spelled exactly the same.
They are only pronounced differently as indicated by the NIKKUD (vowel markings).
Now, because the root word is obviously the same for these two words, the meaning between these two words should also be related!
Let me say that again.
Because the root for these two words is obviously the same, their meaning MUST BE RELATED TO EACH OTHER IN SOME WAY.
So let me ask you this?
What is the connection between the word “lame” and “pass over”?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
We have to start searching for a different meaning of PESACH other than “pass over“.
We actually get a strong hint of the real meaning from PESACH’s sister word PEE-SAY-ACH which means “lame”.
If someone is lame, what does that mean?
It means that person is IMMOBILE because he can’t use his legs.
This is actually a powerful clue as to what HASHEM really did on that dreadful night in Egypt.
Exodus 12:23 says…
“For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.”
Note the part I bolded and underlined: “the Lord will pass over the door”.
The original Hebrew says “U’FASACH YHVH over the doorway“.
Again U’FASACH is spelled exactly the same as PESACH with the letters PEY, SAMECH, and CHET.
It is the same root word.
Hence, the real meaning of this passage is that God stood IMMOBILE over the doorway as if He was lame.
He didn’t move.
He allowed nothing to pass through or penetrate through that door.
The destroying angel was literally not able to get through that door because HASHEM was literally guarding the entrance by becoming IMMOBILE right in front of the door.
And if you doubt what I’m saying is true, check out this quote from the Orthodox Union homepage:
“Based on the literal reading of this verse, ufasach cannot mean God “passed over” the houses, since He wasn’t doing the destroying; it must mean that God had mercy and protected the Jews from the Angel of Death.”
For your reference, the link is below: