A Passover Seder

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Passover is approaching and Bruce Feiler literally walked through the Five Books of Moses in the Holy Land. He’ll debunk a few parts of Seder lore and offer suggestions on how to be a good Seder guest.


Bruce Feiler

Comments [9]

Amy from Manhattan

I once went to a vegetarian Seder in my neighborhood (can't remember if I was a vegetarian myself at that point), & in place of a lamb shank, thare was a sweet potato on the Seder plate. I asked my hosts about it, & they told me, "Oh, that's our Paschal yam!"

And Matt [4], that's a bad translation. What the Bible says is that the Hebrews, as they were told to by God, asked their neighbors for gold, silver, & clothing, & God gave them favor in the Egyptians' sight, so they gave them what they asked for. That's hardly "despoiling" the Egyptians (the usual English translation), let alone "looting" them, & in fact, the Hebrew word translated this way comes from the root "tzel," which means "shade" or "shadow" & the connotation of "shelter" or "protect." It's used many times in the Torah, & only in this story has it been translated as "despoil."

The part about no time for the bread to rise is wrong too. What it says is that the people had no time to *leaven* the bread. If they had, it still would've risen inside the wrapped-up kneading troughs on their backs in the desert heat.

Apr. 02 2009 01:14 AM
jerome l kellert from United States

To Bruce USA Southern Jews allowed their slaves the same religious education as themselves. Therefore, giving them the right to worship as a Jew they were abiding by Jewish law, no work on the Sabbath, celebrating all Jewish holidays and in a sense gave them an opportunity to embrace Judaism.

Apr. 01 2009 08:57 PM
Bennett Muraskin from Parsippany, NJ

The Passover/Exodus story is myth. I do not think that detracts from its significance, but there is no historical evidence that any of it occured as described in the Torah.

Made a good movie, though....

Apr. 01 2009 02:22 PM
hjs from 11211

what about the theory that Moses was a follower of Aknaton

Apr. 01 2009 12:59 PM
Edward Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

If the plagues didn't really take place, how did the Hebrew people get out of Egypt?

Apr. 01 2009 12:58 PM
Matt from Long Island

A central part of the passover story is the Jews fleeing Egypt with no time for bread to rise. Yet in the bible, there's a passage that says the Jews looted the Egyptians before leaving. I've been to my share of seders over the past 40 years and I've yet to hear this part of the story being told on Passover. And it seems to contradict the central idea that Jews were victims that is such a strong part of the Jewish identity. Can you comment?

Apr. 01 2009 12:55 PM
bruce from United States

As a southern jew with generations going back over a hundred years.How did southern American jews reconcile with jewish families owning slaves with the Passover enslavement.Judah P.Benjamin the Confederacy secretary of the treasury being the most prominent.He owned 140 African slaves.
Great show Leonard!

Apr. 01 2009 12:51 PM

Whatever you do, don't invite that Eric Cartman kid over for Sedar.

Apr. 01 2009 12:47 PM
Ivey from Brooklyn

Just wanted to say... I'm from Georgia too!! We seem to be spreading all over.

And of course thanks for the wonderful coverage.

Apr. 01 2009 12:43 PM

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