Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

The haggadah is for skimming

The Canadian Jewish News recently published a piece by McMaster PhD Jonathan Milevsky (Religious Studies) about the haggadah, the document that guides Passover Seders.

Apr 04, 2018

A strong case can be made that the haggadah is meant to be read through at a brisk pace. Indeed, in a commentary attributed to the medieval sage Rabbi Shimon ben Meir, it is said that the praise heaped upon those who engage in greater discussion of the Exodus refers to conversation after the meal. But the argument can be made from the text itself.

Compare the haggadah to the Talmud (the comparison is apt when you consider that scholars like Daniel Goldschmidt argue the final version of the haggadah post-dated the Talmud) and you will find that one of these things is not like the other. The most obvious difference is in the amount and type of investigations the Talmud routinely raises – questions and issues born out of source mining, blatant contradictions, conflicting accounts, contradictory biblical sources for various teachings, post-facto inquiries into original questions or points of view and unresolved dilemmas. The Talmud is constantly inviting further discussion.

Continue reading the  the original article on The Canadian Jewish News