As families gather around the Seder table, they encounter the four children. Some take the position that the four children really represent different aspects of each individual person. I would like to share a story with you that examines the question: Can our presence at the Seder bring order to our lives and allow the different aspects of who we are to integrate as one person?
For the past 62 years, two seemingly unrelated events in the Jewish world mark the early days of spring in New York City: The Annual Israeli Folk Dance Festival and preparations for the Passover seder.
Judaism offers much wisdom to help people in our communities cultivate the resilience to recover from the aftereffects of Sandy, a storm that created a unique situation affecting an estimated 54 million people in 24 states.
A couple of weeks ago, a Passover rap video—all in Hebrew, and with beat-boxing—went viral. It featured two fairly typical looking American Jews dressed up as Pharaoh, Moses, and a sleuth of other biblical characters. Then there were scenes of a Jewish girl in an Israeli-flag bikini; the two main singers playing poker in a retirement community; and then them again, rapping on a beach lined with skyscrapers. I thought, Wait, I know that place: Florida.
No doubt the Haggadah is the most renewable of Jewish texts because its message of freedom from oppression is so universal, so relevant in each generation. With more than 7,000 known variations, our guide to the seder is the most translated and published of all Jewish texts.
Kimchee, the spicy pickled cabbage that is the signature dish of Korean cuisine, is one of my husband’s all-time favorite foods. (Must be to compensate for all the bland French Canadian fare he was subjected to as a child.)
If Leon Wieseltier would for once drop his surly, admonitory tone perhaps more people would listen. For what he delivers in his scathing review of the New American Haggadah is certainly worth reading. There are precious few people who are as learned in both Hebrew and English literature as he. And that’s why, even if you disagree with his reading of the new Haggadah, you will undoubte