A Passover Companion
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why Is This Haggadah Different?
The Haggadah of China’s Kaifeng Jews is not all that dissimilar from your Maxwell House version—but it speaks volumes about the community that produced it.
Comes the Comer
The New American Haggadah boasts a high-profile cast of contributors—Jonathan Safran Foer, Nathan Englander, Nathaniel Deutsch, Jeffrey Goldberg, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Lemony Snicket. But it also features a series of unfortunate translations and commentaries.
Passover on the Potomac
As the holiday of freedom approaches, we explore two haggadahs—one old and one new—from our nation’s capital, and think about the “audacious hope” of redemption.
Pour Out Your Fury
When the Bavarian government confiscated thousands of books from monasteries in 1803, among them was an utterly unique haggadah.
The Fifth Question
Whatever kind of Passover Seder one attends, there is a fifth question, usually whispered, that arises some time after the first four are asked . . .
Frogs, Griffins, and Jews Without Hats: How My Children
Illuminated the Haggadah
The illustrated haggadahs of medieval Europe contain more than just rich, colorful depictions of the Exodus story. The closer you look, and with innocent eyes, the more sophisticated the artistic commentary becomes. There are drawings of rabbinic midrash and not a small amount of political satire and polemic.
Chopped Herring and the Making of the American Kosher
In 1986, the discovery of non-kosher vinegar in a classic Jewish delicacy led to a revolution in kosher supervision.
Law in the Desert
Studying the weekly portion with Jerome, Nachmanides, and others, the seemingly tedious parts of Exodus become compelling.
Zornberg’s sessions are deeply informed by traditional Jewish sources, especially the interpretations of classic rabbinic midrash and the homilies of Hasidic masters.
Let My People Go
Many of the heroes of the Soviet Jewry movement have been unsung, until now.
The Kid from the Haggadah
A 1944 poem, translated by Dan Ben-Amos.
It’s Spring Again
A startling painting on the walls of the ancient synagogue at Dura Europos depicts some 2nd-century Jews who have, until recently, been dead and who look very surprised to have been reconstituted and revived.
Not Just Hummus
Exploring Israel's culinary culture with two new, very different books about cooking. Jerusalem expats Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have put out a cookbook with remarkable fusions and creations inspired by the holy city, while Abbie Rosner explores the biblical cuisine of the Galilee.
Poisoned Gefilte Fish, Broken Heart
In a characteristic turn of phrase, Der Nister wrote that the realization of the possibility of a land for Jews, where they lived under their own sovereignty would be a “brokhe af doyres” (blessing for future generations). The bitter irony is almost unbearable.
Back in the 1960s, the Rheingold Corporation ran a bunch of TV commercials—mostly during baseball games, if I remember correctly—vaunting the popularity of its beer among all sorts of minority…
State and Counterstate
Debates about Zion and its relation to the diaspora aren't new. David Myers and Noam Pianko have retrieved the forgotten ideas of several interesting figures, foremost among them Simon Rawidowicz. Do they speak to us now?