Holidays

Haggadah Insights

June 29, 2006, by

The Seder night is the yearly exhibition of Jewish education in the home. We discuss the four types of children which make up Jewish families, their questions, and some answers. As we sing and eat our way through the night there are plenty of customs and rituals to give definition and meaning to the evening(s). […]

And You Shall Tell Your Children

June 29, 2006, by

We are rapidly approaching the night of the Seder. On that night, the Jewish People observe a unique command, the command of communication, of education, “haggadah.” In Shemot 13:8, we find, “And you shall tell your child on that day as follows: ‘Because of this, HaShem did for me, when he took me out of […]

The Fifteen Steps-The Last Four

June 29, 2006, by

In this Section, the Afikoman (the “Tzafun,” or Hidden One) will re-appear, Grace After the Meals is said, the Second Part of Hallel, oriented towards the future, will be sung, and the Seder will be concluded and (we hope) accepted by G-d. The specific steps are: 12. “Tzafun” 13. “Barech” 14. “Hallel” 15. “Nirtzah” They […]

The Fifteen Steps – The Middle Six

June 29, 2006, by

Actually, the means of accomplishing the “Mitzvot,” the Obligations, encountered in the next six steps, is primarily eating and drinking. But, as always, in Judaism, there is a lot of meaning baked into those lean and mean(ingful) Matzot! The six steps discussed in this section are: 6. “Rachtzah” 7. “Motzi” 8. “Matzah” 9. “Marror” 10. […]

The Fifteen Steps-The First Five

June 29, 2006, by

The word “Seder” means “order.” It suggests structure and internal meaning. The Pesach, or Passover, Seder follows a definite structure. Perhaps an aspect of this construction of the Seder was to assure the Jew who, throughout his centuries of Exile, was, in every generation, the victim of outrageous persecution. Though these persecutions came with no […]

The Four Expressions

June 29, 2006, by

In Shemot (6:6-7), there appear four expressions of Redemption: “Therefore, say to the Children of Israel, ‘I am Hashem and I shall take you out from under the burdens of Egypt; I shall save you from their service; I shall redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great punishments; I shall take you to […]

The Four Sons

June 29, 2006, by

Who are the Four Sons? The Haggadah continues the Q & A format in the Section dealing with the “Four Sons.” Here we meet the four personality types which exist within the Jewish People. It is clearly not simply an intelligence measure, because one of the sons is called a “Rasha,” a wicked person. Presumably, […]

The Four Cups

June 29, 2006, by

In the Hebrew Calendar, Pesach follows close behind Purim, where Pesach occurs in the month of Nisan, which is immediately preceded by the month of Adar, which is the month of Purim. It parallels Purim in another aspect as well, namely that wine plays a crucial role in its celebration. Yet there is a difference […]

The Four Questions

June 29, 2006, by

The Baal HaHaggadah records four questions, which are to be asked by the youngest person present at the Seder capable of doing so, to the person who is conducting the Seder, whose duty it then is to respond. Fortunately, the Haggadah itself provides a broad array of answers, understandable on many levels, from the level […]

The Number “Four”

June 29, 2006, by

One of the fascinating and suggestive features of the Haggadah is the prominence of the number “Four,” which appears in connection with the following elements of the Haggadah: The Four Cups of Wine The Four Questions The Four Sons The Four Expressions of Redemption Why the number “Four” is given this prominence, and what its […]