Thursday, March 29, 2007

Passover Reading

One of the reasons I've been posting so frequently is that, for the first time since we got married, DH and I are going away for the whole week of Passover, meaning that we don't have to clean our apartment. It's been so long since I've actually had time to think about the Seder before sitting down to it that it's making me a little bit giddy.

Here's some stuff that I'm printing out to read over Shabbat:

David Kraemer on leavened and unleavened bread
Hitzei Yehonatan on Passover
Adderabbi on the Haggadah (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Here are some radical Haggadot:
The Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah
The Love & Justice in Times of War Haggadah

And here are some traditional Haggadot (mostly Hebrew).

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher veSameach!


Rymenhild said...

Have a good Passover!

elf said...

Thanks! You too!

Shira Salamone said...

Good stuff! I printed out a whole bunch to read on Yom Tov afternoon (assuming I'm awake after a Seder or two :) ). Thanks!

I'm sorry to say that your link # 6 to Adderabbi's blog doesn't seem to be working, at the moment. Perhaps you could fix that when you get back.

Have a Pesach kasher v'sameach.

Reb Yudel said...

Good links. Thank you!

If I may indulge in a bit of self-promotion -- the Ben Yehuda Press Pesach site is up. It features writings from Rabbis Shefa Gold and Judith Abrams; a couple of poetic dialogues involving the linked threesome of Moses, Pharaoh and God (foursome if you count the horse), and two excerpts from forthcoming novels featuring strong, unorthodox Jewish women.

The excerpt from "Bessie" takes us back to the early 20th century, when oppression, in the form of Czarist Russia, was real not metaphorical. The excerpt from "A Delightful Compendium of Consolation" describes an 11th century seder... from the perspective of a Karaite girl who had never before experienced Rabbanite Passover.

And please, don't let the brown color scheme throw you off: A special print-only style sheet ensures that the material is suitable for pre-yomtof printing.

elf said...

Hi Shira,
I'm glad that you like the selection. I noticed that the Adderabbi links were screwed up when I tried to print the posts, but I didn't get around to fixing them until just now. I hope you have a chance to come back to the site.

Reb Yudel:
Thanks for the link. There's some nice stuff there.

hotshot2000 said...

Hope you had good sedarim! What'd you think of Kraemer's piece? Frankly, without some sort of proof that the generation which composed the Exodus story (or inserted the destruction of se`or) actively associated bread with Egypt, I find his piece quite unconvincing. (I like Jacob Milgrom's explanation better, that the smell of se`or was associated with death (mold, etc.) and that ridding one's house of that smell was connected physically and symbolically with rebirth.)

elf said...

My sedarim were nice. I hope that yours were, too.

I think Kraemer's argument is an interesting combination of scholarship and drash. As a historical explanation I don't find it convincing, but I did think it was an interesting piece, and I mentioned it at the seder.

The most convincing explanation I've heard for the origin of the practice of ridding one's house of chametz is related to the fact that Pasover is the beginning of the wheat harvest. Leavening and leavened products would inevitably involve a culture from the previous year's grain, and on Passover, you want to offer God loaves made purely from the fruit of the new harvest and (secondarily) to cleanse your house of any produce of the old harvest.

This explanation actually fits rather well with the zoharic idea about cleansing one's soul for Passover.

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