Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Passover Haggadah | Jewish Community | Appointed Time | Four Sons

The Torah presents the Exodus from Egypt as the foundational experience of the Jewish nation and the Passover sacrifice as the necessary precondition to the Exodus.  That experience is represented in the Torah as an attempt to build an inclusive community.  As ritually impure members of the desert generation said to Moses upon realizing that they could not participate in the Passover offering, Lama nigra? ("Why should we be barred from bringing God's sacrifice at its appointed time together with the People of Israel?") (Num. 9:7).  The implication is that exclusion from the Passover ritual effectively means exclusion from the community.

Diversity is celebrated at the Passover Seder, where four children ("four sons") who represent different personalties in the Jewish community are all present and engaged in relating the meaning of the Seder.  Such is the message of inclusiveness of the Passover Haggadah.  The sons our Rabbis refer to as 'wicked' states: "What is this ritual to you?"  By using the word "you" rather than "us" he argues against his own inclusion in the Jewish community at the foundational experience of the Passover Seder. The Passover Haggadah objects to that interpretation because it sees any Jew whose ancestors were part of the Exodus from Egypt, should view himself (or herself) as part of the Jewish community.

In our Torah Trope software, we seek to make every Jew feels welcome and understood. We teach according to four different learning styles so that we can reach each child.  We focus on making a very special ritual, the Bar Mitzvah or the Bat Mitzvah ceremony a time to connect with the timeless Jewish community and to participate in its future.

Please comment below to share how the Passover Seder brings you closer to your Jewish community.

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Preview of upcoming blog post: "אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י | Role of Oral Tradition in Biblical Text"

Topics: Passover, Haggadah, Jewish Community, Appointed Time, Four Sons, Seder, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bnai Mitzvah, Mitzvah Bar, Mitzvah Bat, Hebrew, Torah, Torah Trope, Trope Torah, Cantillation

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