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Haggadah

God Took Us Out of Egypt “Because of This”

Traditional commentators offer various interpretations of the cryptic phrase בַּעֲבוּר זֶה in Exodus 13:8, generally translated “because of this” or “this is because.” But a well-known midrash from the Passover Haggadah holds the key to an entirely different translation which may indeed be the simple meaning of the text.

Harvey N. Bock

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The Four Sons: How the Midrash Developed

In four passages, the Torah has a father explaining different commandments to a son by referencing the exodus from Egypt. Comparing the wording in these biblical passages, the rabbis reinterpreted—and even revised—them to reflect a father explaining Pesach to four different sons: wise, stupid, wicked, and one who doesn’t ask.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Why "Passover"? On the True Meaning of Pesaḥ-פסח

Dr.

Barry Dov Walfish

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The Omission of the Sinai Theophany in the Bikkurim Declaration

Dr. Rabbi

Pamela Barmash

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A Copper Laver Made from Women’s Mirrors

Who were these women and what were these mirrors used for? Reconstructing the narrative: the historical-critical method vs. midrash. 

Prof.

Rachel Adelman

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The Right Way to Read the Haggadah

The Seder as a Night of Hermeneutic Freedom: Introducing the Four Readers of the Haggadah

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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Arami Oved Avi: The Demonization of Laban

The rabbis translate the phrase ארמי אובד אבי in Deuteronomy 26:5 “an Aramean tried to destroy my father” and understand it as a reference to Laban, who they claim was worse than Pharaoh. But whereas the biblical Laban can be read either sympathetically or unsympathetically, he is hardly a Pharaoh-like villain, so why demonize him?

Naomi Graetz

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Did an Aramean Try to Destroy our Father?

A medieval non-traditional interpretation of arami oved avi and the push-back against it. 

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Connecting the Mitzvah of Maggid to the Seder Night

...יָכוֹל מֵראשׁ חֹדֶשׁ? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא

Dr.

Azzan Yadin-Israel

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