|Posted on March 29, 2021 at 3:20 PM|
This Passover was for me a game-changer. I have led many seders in my life and this was the first one I did all by myself. And it was FANTASTIC!
Previously I had led groups of people, including my family. And I've always felt rushed and that I need to make it interesting and along with all of that, I was the one to make the meal and set the table, etc., etc. It all fell on my shoulders. Stressful. But since my husband died 8 months ago, I've not been able to push myself into anything with the slightest bit of stress. (More on this coming in another aritcle.) But Covid or none, doing a seder all by myself was so nice. I loved it.
I went through a Passover Haggadah that I've always wanted to use but only had one copy of. It's got these wonderfully realistic pictures. Gadi Pollack, an Israeli Illustrator who's published 45 books, is the artist. All of the illlustrations are "based entirely on the teachings of our Sages." It's "unusually graphic" because it comes from the premise that the story of the Exodus REALLY happened. As an example of something just awful that is said to have happened is that the Pharoah had a skin disease (tzaraas) and bathed in Jewish children's blood! This is actually depicted in this book! Ugh!
Aside from its graphic nature, this is an absolutely gorgeous Haggadah. It is called "The Katz Passover Haggadah - The Art of Faith and Redemption." amazon.com/Katz-Passover-Haggadah-Redemption-Bilingual/dp/1583306005
In the back of the book there's an article on proofs that the Exodus was a TRUE historical event. First of all, did you know that many things have been discovered archeologically that prove the event really happened? Yes! But of course, and for many Jewish people, these events have always been seen as part of our history, told from parent to child to grandchild for thousands of years. The author of the article in the back of the book is Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel. It's titled "The Exodus From Egypt: Fact or Myth?" There he sites an interesting papyrus that was written by an Egyptian Poet, Ipuwer, thousands of years ago. There Ipuwer writes about things happening in Egypt that sound very much like the Plagues that are written in the Torah.
Here's an article you can read about this poet: ohr.edu/838 And here are links to the trailer of a movie I saw once called "Patterns of Evidence". It's about archeological finds that seem to prove the existence of an event like the Exodus. patternsofevidence.com The movie was made by non-Jews but my rabbi's father, Manis Friedman, was featured in it.
I think it's very exciting to learn about the evidence of this great event because I love feeling connected to my ancestors. It gives me a sense of pride when I remember that the actual Torah itself (Old Testament) goes back so many thousands of years. Did you know that every time a new parchment of the Torah is written, if there is even a broken letter - let alone, a misspelled word or any mistake at all - the entire book is found unusable? This is amazing to me - that a book like the Torah was preserved like that for thousands of years!
And remember, the experiences of the freedom from slavery in Egypt, along with the revelation at Mt Sinai, were events that the Torah claims thousands of people went through. So unlike any other religion where miracles and revelations were only witnessed by a few. Our Jewish traditions, like observing the Seder on Passover and telling the story of the Exodus are behaviors that have been passed down for thousands of years. It's a complete miracle that Jews who have lived in the furthest corners of the globe all have the same practices even without any interaction with each other and read from the exact same Torah and observe the same traditions with very little differences. That, my friends is truly incredible.
It makes me excited to be Jewish.
If you want to learn more about classes on the Jewish Holidays, Kabbalah, Jewish History and Judaism itself, go to my teachable website: kabbalahwisdom.teachable.com/courses/kabbalah-and-judaism-101 There you will be able to see some F.REE classes, including my Kabbalah Cards Class.