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Sunday, March 18 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Hidden in the Hagaddah: Exploring the Puzzles of Pesach

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The Haggadah is arguably the most familiar work of Jewish liturgy—so familiar that in the midst of the Seder, we barely notice what an extraordinarily puzzling text it is.  To take one striking example, can we tell the whole story of liberation from Egyptian slavery without referring to Moses?  When we read “The Lord brought us out of Egypt,” why do we emphasize “not by an angel, not by a seraph, not by a messenger”? Why does the citation for the Lord’s “signs and wonders” come not from Exodus but from the Book of Joel?  Is the hiding of the Afikoman (“the coming one” in Greek) really just a children’s game?  In raising these questions, we will discuss how the Rabbis who composed the Haggadah, after the destruction of the Temple, adapt the biblical account of Exodus with the aim of preserving Jewish identity in a challenging time.

avatar for Ronna Burger

Ronna Burger

Ronna Burger is the Catherine & Henry J. Gaisman Chair in Philosophy and Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane. Her scholarly work in the field of Greek philosophy has provided a basis for her current studies on Maimonides and the Hebrew Bible.  Recent publications include... Read More →

Sunday March 18, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm CDT
Room 209, JCC