The Haggadah’s Baffling Invitation

April 5 2018

Toward the beginning of the Haggadah, there is a paragraph that states: “Anyone who is hungry—come and eat! Anyone who needs—come and celebrate Passover. Now we are here—next year in the land of Israel. Now we are slaves—next year free people.” Elli Fischer notes the anomalous placement of this paragraph, its odd phrasing, and the fact that, unlike the rest of the seder’s liturgy, it is in Aramaic rather than Hebrew. While some have argued that the choice of language was intended to keep demons away from the festive meal, Fisher believes the entire paragraph must be understood in reference to the paradoxes of celebrating a holiday of liberation while in exile, and where the key Passover ritual—the sacrifice and consumption of the paschal lamb—is not being observed:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Exile, Haggadah, Passover, Religion & Holidays

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank