Talk:Passover Seder

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Should this article be turned into a disambiguation page?[edit]

Should this article be turned into a disambiguation page? We could move the content of this article to Passover Seder, and have this page say something like this:

Seder is a Hebrew word meaning "order", and can have any of the following meanings:
  • Seder - readings of the Torah according to the ancient Palestinian triennial cycle. The divisions are called sedarim.
  • An order of prayers that constitutes a liturgy. See the article on siddur. (Example, The Seder of Rav Amram)
  • A related order of prayers within a given liturgy, for example: the sounding of the shofar.
  • The Passover seder
  • There is a holiday seder for the minor Jewish holiday of Tu_B'shevat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. It is known as Hemdat ha-Yamim and is modeled on the Passover seder.

I have done that. E=MC^2 T@alk

Historical origin of the Seder[edit]

Many scholars believe that the Seder has been deeply influenced by the Greek culture in which Jews lived at the time. Some even hold that the Seder is a Jewish form of a Greek symposium.

External References[edit]


Baruch M. Bokser The origins of the seder : the Passover rite and early rabbinic Judaism University of California Press, 1984, ISBN: 0520050061

Bokser Baruch M., Ritualizing the Seder, Jounal of the American Academy of Religion 56/1988, S.443-471.

Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, "'Not by Bread Alone...' Food and Drink in the Rabbinic Seder and in the Last Supper," special issue of Semeia 86: Food and Drink in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (ed. by Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten; 1999), 154-179 and Memorable Meals: Symposia in Luke’s Gospel, The Rabbinic Seder and the Greco-Roman Literary Tradition (forthcoming).

Henry A. Fischel, ed., Essays In Greco-Roman And Related Talmudic Literature (selected with a prolegomenon by [the editor]; New York: KTAV, 1976

Siegfried Stein, The Influence of Symposium Literature on the Literary form of the Pesah Haggadah Journal of Jewish Studies 8 (1957) pp. 13-44.

Joseph Tabory, “Towards a History of the Paschal Meal,” in Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times (Two Liturgical Traditions v.5; ed. Paul Bradshaw and Lawrence Hoffman; Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame, 1999) pp.62-80.

Meals as Midrash[edit]

The following is an excerpt from "Meals as Midrash: A Survey of Ancient Meals in Jewish Studies Scholarship" by Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Wheaton College, MA, ©2002.

A second major contribution of Jewish Studies to meals in the Greco-Roman world is idea that the Passover seder was a Greco-Roman symposium. This thesis has opened two especially fruitful lines of inquiry, namely, about the relationship between Jewish and Hellenistic culture, and the relationship between actual meal practices and literary texts about them. Siegfried Stein’s seminal article "The Influence of Symposium Literature on the Literary form of the Pesah Haggadah," though originally published in the Journal of Jewish Studies in 1966,[13] became widely known in Jewish studies circles through its inclusion in Henry Fischel's anthology Essays In Greco-Roman And Related Talmudic Literature, a collection of essays specifically intended to break down the excessive dichotomization of "Judaism vs. Hellenism" characteristic of much previous Jewish scholarship.[14]
Stein noted that many of the features of the Passover seder, such as “the four questions,” the emphasis on reclining, the convention of talking about the food on the table or other topics related to the meal practices, games and word play, a hymn at the end (Hallel) etc. had many parallels in Greco-Roman symposium literature. However, the two most important subsequent book length treatments of the Passover seder, Bokser’s Origins of the Seder and Joseph Tabory’s Pesah Dorot (“The Passover Ritual Through the Generations”) come down on different sides of Stein’s thesis.[15] Bokser says the Passover Seder is not a symposium; Tabory says it is, as do I.[16]
The issue really at stake in this controversy is an old one: was Judaism influenced by "Hellenism?" Thus, though Bokser concedes that participation in wider Hellenistic culture was a factor "shaping [the] Passover seder and the formation of early rabbinic Judaism in general," he cannot accept Stein's argument that "symposium literature 'gave the impetus' "to the form of the Passover seder as it stands before us."[17] Rather, the internal Jewish historical crisis of the loss of the Temple in Jerusalem shaped the form of the rabbinic seder.[18] Bokser, in an approach typical of much modern Jewish critical scholarship, insists on the decisive impact of internal, autonomous Jewish factors on Jewish religious texts rather than on external Hellenistic cultural influences.
However, I see no reason why symposium conventions and the loss of the Temple in 70 C.E. could not both be decisive factors shaping the form of the early rabbinic seder. [19] In any case, I think that the thesis that the Passover seder is a symposium has done much to advance more sophisticated understandings of the profound interaction between Biblical/Jewish and Greco-Roman cultural conventions for meals. In addition the thesis has led to a deeper exploration of the relationship between meal rituals and texts about or otherwise related to them, especially in my own work.[20] Some studies of the Passover seder as a symposium seem to confuse the symposium as a performed ritual with symposium texts that are literary representations of meals.[21] Thus, they miss the important point that the literary representation of Jewish meals according to symposium literary conventions are themselves significant interpretations and transformations of experienced rituals into conceptual ideals. The Passover seder in Chapter 10 of M. Pesahim is a literary idealization of Jewish meal practices according to early rabbinic values, just as the wide variety of Socratic, encyclopedic, and satirical literary symposia, as well as sympotic lists of meal rules, and stylized meal scenes imbedded in fictional narratives are idealizations of other extra-textual Greco-Roman meal practices, according to the particular ideological values of their authors.[22]
The literary representation of symposia according to the conventions of the genres turns "actual" meal settings and practices into objects of intellectual reflection, to be contrasted with one another, to be preferred or rejected, or simply to demonstrate that proponents of the various schools represented at banquets do or do not practice what they preach.[23] Tabory and I offer broad sketches of the historical development of the literary genres of symposia in order to situate the Passover seder within them. Tabory does this to suggest that development of the Passover Haggadah from a midrash on Deut. 26:5-8: "My father was a wandering Aramean…" to the lengthy rite in m. Pesahim 10 prescribing the explanation of the foods at the table, parallels the literary development of Greco-Roman symposia...
...My bottom line: the sympotic features and form of the Passover seder were not incidental accretions or unconscious developments. The symposium literary tradition provided the composers of Mishnah Pesahim 10, as well as their ideological rivals, with a wide range of options from which to choose to idealize their characteristic communal meals. Their choices were intentional, and were recognized as such – if at the very least to distinguish their way as preferable to others....

Miriam's section? Why[edit]

The section on Miriam's Cup seems a little off... It doens't cite any references, seems to be a new inclusion (20 years ago insteady of 3,000) and has the ring of 'Things Made Up at School One Day'. Can anyone verify? (talk) 03:00, 25 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

He's a site on it if that helps: [1] Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 04:32, 20 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I can't believe this is still here. "Miriam's ritual" is not a part of the Seder, any more than "Adam's ritual", or "Egbert's ritual" is. This is just made up. It's not Passover. It's barely Passoverish. Passover is not a video game or theatrical performance. It's an ancient ritual, and this is not even close to being a legitimate part of it.AdamJRichards (talk) 17:28, 18 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Need for a section on Seder's history[edit]

It is conspicuously lacking - in fact, the question "When was the first seder?" seems to make some Jews uncomfortable. Is it the case that some rabbis, sometime, decided that Jews should commemorate annually their exit from Egypt?

There is mention above on this page, but nothing in the article. Bokser's study is never mentioned. He dates the earliest reference to about 200 C.E.

How have the seder and haggadah evolved between their origin and their present celebration(s)? deisenbe (talk) 15:55, 19 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that there should be a section on the seder's history. I came to this page because I was curious about something: In Exodus 12:8-9, God commands the children of Israel to eat the passover lamb. However, according to this page, a lamb or goat bone is present but no lamb is eaten. Is this because the ritual changed at some point (perhaps after the destruction of the Temple)? Or are there two distinct rituals here: a Passover feast (commanded in Ex 12:14) with roasted lamb, and a Seder meal (commanded in Ex 13:3-10) with a lamb bone? That seems odd to me, but this article never mentions Ex 12:14, which makes me doubt my previous assumption that these two chapters are referring to the same ritual.
If there is controversy about "when was the first seder", as Deisenbe suggests, then this controversy might be mentioned. His suggestion that there were no seders before 200 CE seems highly implausible to me, since the annual feast is clearly commanded in Ex 12 and 13, and not even the most skeptical liberal Biblical scholars would claim the Torah was written as late as 200 CE! But to avoid such reckless speculation, a section on History of the Seder would be truly helpful. — Lawrence King (talk) 18:52, 25 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The date in 2020 is incorrect. Seder will be on 8th of April 2020. Something with the calculation wrong. Elisoft007 (talk) 17:49, 7 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I too am puzzled by the fact that there's no history about when and where these customs evolved. I've seen good authority for the suggestion that it did not exist in Jesus's time and came here to get information. Very odd indeed! Cooke (talk) 16:06, 24 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]


My calendar says this year it's the evening of April 19, article says 20.--Exjerusalemite (talk) 16:32, 14 March 2019 (UTC) Looks like an inaccurate module is used to calculate the dates in the infobox. if there's no objection, i will edit the infobox and manually enter the correct dates.--Exjerusalemite (talk) 22:10, 1 April 2019 (UTC) I agree. The Gregorian date shown in the infobox is a day late every year. Please can somebody edit this. I don't know how to edit the module that is used for this calculation but that would be better than putting in dates manually, as it would auto-update every year. I guess this is to do with seder being in the evening, so the module is working out the Gregorian date for 15th Nisan, and then assuming seder is in the evening of that date rather than the evening of the date before. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 10 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Samaritans removed[edit]

While Samaritans do observe Passover, they do not conduct a seder. They gather to sacrifice and roast the lambs, and then they have a meal together, but not within a structured ritual The Inkling 00:03, 6 April 2021 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by YourCaptMorgan (talkcontribs)

If you're honest you'll check the citations for the anti-Jewish rant, and you'll have realized that they all go to original writing or to sources that cite original writing. A lot of their links don't even exist. You make anti-Jewish rhetoric part of this article, witness the first and last lines, but when I remove it, you put it back. You don't even justify it. I have to go to ridiculous lengths to get you to notice that this is not only offensive, it's entirely made up. It's not fact; it's eyewitness reports, unverifiable claims, and known exaggerations. It's not Jewish. It isn't even for Jews; we weren't invited. Read it: the ten plagues are the ones that affect women, not everybody, ostensibly because of our racial tradition of homophobia. Since when does a word-game that excludes half the Jewish population because "the Jews are homophobic" qualify as a bona-fide Jewish ritual? Check the sources they cite. See where they lead. You have allowed someone nameless to arbitrarily and inappropriately associate our religion with homophobia and misogyny, solely on the basis of a holy day in which...please read carefully...homophobia and misogyny run counter to the content of the myth. There isn't any misogyny or homophobia in the story; not a shred. Old translations with too literal a bent have long since been replaced with friendlier wording, but the story, the tradition, is not prejudicial in any way. We don't even say "He" or "Lord" in our Haggadot; we say "Sovereign". What misogyny are they fighting? Jews didn't burn gays at the annual bonfire, or make them into slaves; we just made them keep quiet about it because they're embarassing to Mama. Every Jew knows that homosexuals came right after Jews on the Nazi hate list; we remind ourselves of it in every seder. What homophobia do you find in that?

How can it not be politics to include such charges in a page about a Jewish ritual to which they manifestly do not apply? It's not part of it, and the anger those particular feminists justify their cultural theft with is not against Passover, it's against Jews. Passover is not meant as a time of rejection, but there are no citations I can "prove" that with, it being a family word-of-mouth tradition and considered common knowledge (more than five reliable citations in a particular search). We aren't misogynistic or homophobic, and a 3000 year-old myth hardly qualifies as justification for criticism of modern Jewry.

We leave the door open to Elijah, because he is is the ghost of the prophet of the poor and humble, and leaving the door open for Elijah is an invitation to all who feel the jackboot of oppression. Once the door is open, it is pure mitzvah to welcome anyone who enters. If a hungry person, or a slave, or just a person needing respite, walk, runs, or crawls through that door, he or she is granted a place at the table, gratefully and honestly, even if you must be enemies tomorrow.

Made-up research about made-up opinions citing made-up evidence linked to made-up sources, or sources who cite the sources who cite them, about an event 14 people claim to have participated in but which had no public expression, and whose word and affectionate memories are themselves no more than a reflection of their own, read...own,'re most definitely not qualified to moderate here. Unless, of course, you show up at our family seder and follow Elijah in, to remind us how homophobic and misogynistic we Jews are, including, of course, my wife and my mother. Rules of citation: you may not cite other people's opinions as evidence, because they were not evidence until you cited them. It's called a citation-go-round, and every scholar knows about it. Other people's politics have nothing to do with the Passover Seder, and changing the words of the story doesn't remove cultural copyright, and injecting your opinions of Jews into this article says a lot about you. Putting it back says more.

You know why this is anonymous? Because you erased my account last year when I brought this up. You asked and received your annual donation, and then I suddenly wasn't there anymore. If you take charity from me, you really shouldn't ban me the day after. Racism is racism, and it isn't sacred racism because someone wrote it on your website. There isn't much point in giving you some no-accountability alias like LordFloppie, because I don't hide my opinions behind a false front. With your fake name, you don't take personal responsibility commensurate with your editorial power. You can sign me Adam J. Richards of St Catharines, Ontario, before you erase me. If I don't get this taken down now, I'll get it taken down later, one way or the other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:1970:5A57:2100:0:0:0:1D0 (talk) 21:18, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]