Thursday, April 05, 2012

Pesach posts

I always have grandiose plans for Pesach posts, but the harsh reality is that there is not enough time. (I also have grandiose plans for hitting all the Genizah trucks, but there is obviously not enough time either, so I just have to sit and imagine all the 18th century machzorim being snatched up by rivals or, more likely, chipping and dirty copies of 1910s Chaye Adams - or, also likely, all those 18th century machzorim ending up in the ground).

I'm sure I'll do Pesach posts after the fact, as I usually seem to do. In fact I have some pretty good ideas for them, if I do say so. In the meantime, here is a roundup of past posts - which I haven't read just now, so I can't say what I think holds up, although I remember some of them fondly:

1) What's an afikomen? Some 19th century sources for discussion

2) So where did Chad Gadya come from anyway?

3) Naftali Herz Imber plays historian in 1889 - a half-baked theory of the origin of Chad Gadya.

4) On the Mrs. Chasam Sofer Haggadah, Mendelssohnian German, Hannibal and Yiddish.

5) A savage, hilarious review of a Haggadah from 1890.

6) On the first English Haggadah; a short summary of Alexander Alexander's translation and comments.

7)Should you really eat grated horseradish on Passover? Evidence from an Angleterrish Haggadah from New York, 1837. In this one I also discuss some evidence that, actually, if horseradish is used as maror then it is supposed to be the leaves, not the root (and see the prior post). And here's an old one about "grating horseradish in some little town in Lithuania, Poland, Hungary or Syria."

7) On the Damascus Blood Libel Haggadah and a Kafkaesque Yom Kippur in Upstate New York, 1928.

8) A Karaite Haggadah.

9) The 17th century tunes for two Passover Seder songs. and its recent follow-up:

10) What Passover sounded like 370 years ago - sung today.

Enjoy Pesach!

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