From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure
We will aim to enrich the Seder experience by carefully studying its structure and underlying symbolism. We will weave together study of the mishna and select sugyot in Pesachim with analysis of the Torah and Haggada text.
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 1
The Seder of the Mishna: Our study will begin with the Mishna’s description of the Seder, as it appears in chapter 10 of Massekhet P’sachim. (Mishna 3 contains some unusual terms. The commentary of the Bartenura is included in the sources.) Compare the description in the משנה with the seder as you know it. Is anything missing? Out of order?
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 2
So The Children Will Ask…: We will study several sugyot in the gemara and commentaries where they suggest that certain practices at the seder are intended to arouse the children’s curiousity. We will attempt to understand these practices – what are we trying to get the children to notice? What is the appropriate response to the children? How do these practices help us tell the story of yetziat mitzraim?
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 3
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 4
Haroset (Part II): We are in the midst of investigating the gemara’s symbolic explanation of the haroset. In our last class we discovered the midrashic background of the apple. We will now study the first chapter of Shmot carefully to appreciate the history of the mortar association. Learn the Ramban to Shmot 1: . How many stages of enslavement does the Ramban list. Return to the verses themselves. How many stages may be identified in the verses? What is the reaction to each stage. Is the oppression achieving its stated goal?
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 5
From Disgrace to Glory: We will now continue in the tenth chapter of P’sachim to Mishnayot 4-6 and the description of Maggid. We will compare the text of the mishnayot with the text of our Haggadah. How has the Haggadah intepreted the Mishna? What is the “disgrace” and “glory” of the story? Why do we choose to explicate the text of “Arami Oved Avi”? Beyond what is mentioned in the Mishna, what additional passages are included in the Haggadah? Why?
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 6
From Disgrace to Glory (continued): We will continue to analyze the sources posted last week.. We will discuss the questions we raised at the conclusion of our last class: Why do we choose to explicate the passage of “arami oved avi”? To what “grace” and “glory” does the mishna refer? Why and how did our Haggada evolve to to include much more than the mishna describes?
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 7
From The Mishna to Maggid: We will briefly review the Mishna’s formula for Leil HaSeder. We will then examine the text of maggid to see how we implement the formula. Is everything from the Mishna included? Are there any additions? surprises? (We will continue studying the sources that were posted previously.)
From Disgrace to Glory: Analysis of the Seder and Haggada Structure: Lesson 8
All Night Long: Last week, we traced how the formula of the Mishna translates into our Maggid. This week we will focus on two particular passages that are not mentioned in the Mishna – the story of the Tannaim’s Seder in Bnei Brak, and especially R. Elazar Ben Azaria’s discussion about remembering the Exodus at night. We will investigate the origins of this statement (in Massekhet Brakhot, not P’sachim!) and then discuss what it contributes to our Seder.