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Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities

Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities

by David Arnow
Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities

Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities

by David Arnow

Paperback(2nd Edition, New)

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A guide to help you invigorate your Seder, create lively discussions and make personal connections with the Exodus story today.

For many people, the act of simply reading the Haggadah no longer fulfills the Passover Seder's purpose: to help you feel as if you personally had gone out of Egypt. Too often, the ritual meal has become predictable, boring and uninspiring.

Creating Lively Passover Seders, Second Edition, is an innovative, interactive guide to help encourage fresh perspectives and lively dialogue. With three new chapters, this intriguing Haggadah companion has been revised, updated and expanded, and offers thematic discussion topics, text study ideas, activities and readings that come alive in the traditional group setting of the Passover Seder. Each activity and discussion idea aims to:

  • Deepen your understanding of the Haggadah
  • Provide new opportunities for engaging the themes of the Passover festival
  • Develop familiarity with the Exodus story, as well as the life and times of the people who shaped the development of the Haggadah

Reliving the Exodus is not about remembering an event long ago, but about participating in a conversation that provides hope and strength for the struggle to make tomorrow a brighter day. With this complete resource, you can create more meaningful encounters with Jewish values, traditions and texts that lead well beyond the Seder itself.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580234443
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 01/15/2011
Edition description: 2nd Edition, New
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 767,886
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

David Arnow, PhD, a psychologist by training, is widely recognized for his innovative work to make the Passover Seder a truly exciting encounter each year with Judaism's most central ideas. He has been deeply involved with many organizations in the American Jewish community and Israel and is a respected lecturer, writer, and scholar of the Passover Haggadah. He is coeditor of the two-volume My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD (Jewish Lights).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments to the Second Edition xi
Preface to the Second Edition xiii
Acknowledgments to the First Edition xv
Preface to the First Edition xvii
Introduction xix
How to Use This Book xxiii
A Few Words for Seder Leaders xxv
A Note on Rabbinic Literature, the Haggadah, and Translations xxvii

A Dish for the Ages: The Seder Plate 1

Confused? • Experiment with Your Plate • A Taste of History • Why Does This Plate Differ from That One?

The Long Road from Slavery to Freedom:
From Ancient Egypt to Our Time 17
Slavery in Ancient Times • Exodus and the American Ethos • The Great Seal of the United States: Israelites Crossing the Red Sea versus a Pyramid • Former Slaves Speak • Let Freedom Ring: Historic Words on Freedom • Jewish Values and Social Justice:American Jews in the Antebellum South • Slavery in Our Time

The Four "Questions": Who's Asking What and Why? 37

Engaging Children during the Seder: An Ancient Lesson • Questions about Questions • The Greek Symposium and the Jewish Seder • Why These Particular Questions?

Passover After the Temple: From Sacrifice to Story 45

Judah the Prince and the Seder • Telling the Story: Some Ancient Advice • "The Medium Is the Message" • Taking Elaboration Seriously • Art Midrash:"Begin with Disgrace and End with Praise" • Crossing Rivers and Taking Responsibility

Five Super-Sages in B'nei B'rak 57

Five Super-Sages:Their Times and Teachings • Banning Rabbi Eliezer • Gamaliel’s Conspicuous Absence: Fingerprints on the Haggadah

The Four Children: A Seat at the Table for Everyone 67

The Four Children • Torah versus Haggadah • The Wise versus the Wicked: A Recipe for Conflict or Conflict Resolution? • Four Voices on Four Children

Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart: The Toughest Part of the Story 81

The Bible and the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart • The Commentators’ Struggle • The Softening of God’s Heart

The Festival of Spring: Reconnecting Passover and Nature 93

On Spring and Time • The Origins of Passover:Two Views • History Trumps Nature • Activities, Blessings, and Readings

The Exodus as a Personal Spiritual Journey 111

Exodus:The Spiritual Journey • Milestones along the Road • Crossing the Sea and the First Song • The Journey’s Ultimate Purpose

Enslaved in Egypt: Why? 123

The Covenant of the Pieces • Israel Enslaved: Many Questions, Many Answers • Joseph and the Enslavement? • The Self-Critical Voice: Benefits and Dangers

“Strangers in a Land Not Theirs”: Remembering to Treat the Strangers among Us Justly 137

Knowing the Heart of the Stranger • A Blessing:Treating Strangers Justly • Two Midrashim on the Stranger • Two Zionist Leaders on the Stranger

“In Every Generation . . .”? God’s Role in History and the Jewish People’s History among the Nations 147

God: The Elephant, as It Were, at the Seder • Arguing with God • The Sages on Innocent Suffering • Modern Voices

“Go Out and Learn . . .”: How the Haggadah Tells the Story of the Exodus 163

How the Haggadah Tells the Story • The Pilgrims’ Prayer and the Haggadah • A Much-Interpreted Phrase • Laban and Pharaoh • Deuteronomy’s Israelite History without Sinai

Women of the Exodus: Redeemed by Their Righteousness 177

Passover in an Upside-Down World • Women and the Haggadah: Missing in Action • The Women of the Exodus in Midrash • Eden and Egypt:Two Tales of Exodus • Serakh bat Asher and the Exodus • The Legend of Miriam’s Well • The Ritual of Miriam’s Cup • Redeemed through Blood and Water: Balancing Elijah’s Cup with Miriam’s Cup

The Ten Plagues: Who Suffered and Why? 197

Plagues Against the Israelites? • Why Spill Wine from Our Cups? • When Our Enemies Fall • The Plagues and Knowing God • Signs, Wonders, and Faith: Or Did the Plagues Fail? • Measure for Measure • Revealing the Creator through Anti-Creation

Moses in the Haggadah: The Human Role in Redemption 213

Where’s Moses? • “Not By an Angel . . .” • Why Minimize Moses? • Fresh Readings:The Haggadah and the Human Role in the Exodus • The Covenantal Context of Redemption • Righteous Women, Apple Trees and Charoset • Purim in the Haggadah • In Every Generation • Five Midrashic Voices on Redemption

Dayyenu: It Would Have Sufficed 231

First Songs:The Song at the Sea and Dayyenu • Roots? • Why Fifteen Divine Favors? • Dayyenu as Microcosm • Sinai Without Torah:Would It Have Sufficed?

Reliving the Exodus: The Story of the Last Night in Egypt 241

Setting the Stage • The Last Night in Egypt • Bibliodrama: Knocking in the Night • Bibliodrama:To Stay or to Leave? • A Prayer for the Journey • Marching from Egypt to the Promised Land

Israel and the Haggadah 253

The Fruits of Israel and Egypt: A Puzzle • Israel’s Absence from the Heart of the Haggadah • Whither Israel? • The Fifth Cup • Readings for the Fifth Cup • Passover, Messianism, and Israel

The Restoration of Wonder: The Miracles of Egypt and Our Day 271

The Bible and the Dictionary • The Sages on Miracles • The Restoration of Wonder • Jewish Voices on Miracles • At the Red Sea: The Horse and Driver

“Blessed Are You . . . Who Redeemed Us”: The Seder of Redemption 287

The Seder of Hope: Tuning in to Themes of Redemption • Redemption in the Bible and the Ancient Near East • An Age-Old Question: Why Did God Redeem the Israelites from Egypt? • The Four Cups of Redemption • A Quartet of Twentieth-Century Jewish Voices on Redemption • On Faith in Redemption

Passover without a Seder: The Paschal Sacrifice 305

Passover in Egypt • In Temple Times • The Passover Rite • Sources on Sacrifice • Sacrifice in Our Lives Today

Elijah’s Transformation: From Zealot to Folk Hero 319

Elijah Comes to the Seder • Elijah’s Cup • The Biblical Elijah • The Elijah Puzzle • Modeling the Potential to Change • A Mirror: A Tale of Elijah and the Seder • “Pour Out Your Wrath” versus “Give Up Anger” • More Than Vengence Alone

Two Seder Songs: Echad Mi Yodea and Chad Gadya 333

Echad Mi Yodea: Mysterious Origins • A Night of Numbers • Counting What Matters • The Ba’al Shem Tov • Chad Gadya • Inspiration? • Came the Commentators • Modern Voices • The Haggadah’s Last Word:A World of Eternal Life

The Exodus from Egypt: The Question of Archeology 349

History and Story • Five Sage Perspectives on the Exodus and History

Appendix I: Chapter Ten of the Mishnah Pesachim, the Night of Passover 357
Appendix II: What Is Midrash? 360
Appendix III: Directions for Art Midrash Projects 361
Appendix IV: Blessing for the New Moon 362

Abbreviations and Abbreviated Titles Used in This Book 364
Notes 366
Select Bibliography 403
Index 407

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