rhu: (torah)

A gathering of my Pesach links from years past:

Chag kasher v'sameach!

rhu: (torah)

A gathering of my Pesach links from years past:

Chag kasher v'sameach!

rhu: (torah)
I love the seder, and it saddens me that so many Jews, not having learned why the seder was assembled the way it was, go through the motions but come away feeling that they've done their duty, dry and off-putting as it may be.

For a few years, I've wanted to write a hagadah to address this: no mystical commentary, no midrashic exegesis, just some simple answers to the disaffected child's question: "What does this service mean to you, anyway?" Somehow, I've never gotten the time.

But if I can't do the whole thing from soup to nuts -- er, from wine to wine? -- then I can at least open up a discussion thread here on my blog. What part(s) of the seder do you find alienating or do you wonder about? I'll do my best to answer.

[Feel free to share this link if you wish.]
rhu: (torah)
I love the seder, and it saddens me that so many Jews, not having learned why the seder was assembled the way it was, go through the motions but come away feeling that they've done their duty, dry and off-putting as it may be.

For a few years, I've wanted to write a hagadah to address this: no mystical commentary, no midrashic exegesis, just some simple answers to the disaffected child's question: "What does this service mean to you, anyway?" Somehow, I've never gotten the time.

But if I can't do the whole thing from soup to nuts -- er, from wine to wine? -- then I can at least open up a discussion thread here on my blog. What part(s) of the seder do you find alienating or do you wonder about? I'll do my best to answer.

[Feel free to share this link if you wish.]
rhu: (Default)
Recently I've heard of a few new chumrot (stringencies) regarding Passover kashrut. Actually, they way they were presented were not as chumrot, which is where people choose to follow a stringency, but as newly understood halachot that just happened to be stricter than what we all used to observe, because of a fear that we might possibly be doing it wrong.

Forgive me for saying this, but I think this is absurd. The holiday is supposed to be a time of rejoicing, and the Talmud is quite clear in many places that there's a limit to how far we need to go in eliminating chametz. Cut for length )
rhu: (Default)
Recently I've heard of a few new chumrot (stringencies) regarding Passover kashrut. Actually, they way they were presented were not as chumrot, which is where people choose to follow a stringency, but as newly understood halachot that just happened to be stricter than what we all used to observe, because of a fear that we might possibly be doing it wrong.

Forgive me for saying this, but I think this is absurd. The holiday is supposed to be a time of rejoicing, and the Talmud is quite clear in many places that there's a limit to how far we need to go in eliminating chametz. Cut for length )

Cleansing

Apr. 17th, 2011 05:44 pm
rhu: (torah)
(I don't think I've ever posted this to my blog)

    Cleansing
        by Andrew M. Greene, 30. March 1992

A poem in free verse. Cut for length to spare your friends page )

Cleansing

Apr. 17th, 2011 05:44 pm
rhu: (torah)
(I don't think I've ever posted this to my blog)

    Cleansing
        by Andrew M. Greene, 30. March 1992

A poem in free verse. Cut for length to spare your friends page )

Psalm 136

Mar. 31st, 2011 11:07 pm
rhu: (torah)
Tomorrow is Shabbat Ha-Chodesh, which means that Pesach is in a few weeks, and I've been meaning to post this for years.

Psalm 136 occurs in the middle of the Hallel (Psalms of Praise) section of the seder. Since there aren't a lot of tunes for it, many people find it boring and I even know many who skip it. In 1996, I wrote a setting of it for my Pesukei d'Zimrah, and it works great as a responsive sing-along at the seder table, too.

Three years ago, I posted the basic sheet music, but what I've really wanted to do was post a recording of it. Tonight I made such a recording, in two formats: solo vocal a cappella, as we sing it at our seder (except that everyone sings along on the "Ki Leolam Chasdo" parts), and for context, the setting for orchestra and chorus. The latter is useful if you can use your imagination to overcome the facts that (1) it's a simulated orchestra and that I am not (2) a soprano, (3) an alto, (4) a tenor, (5) sufficiently rehearsed, nor (6) warmed up.

I hope many of you will find this melody inspirational, fun, and a worthwhile addition to your sedarim.

Psalm 136

Mar. 31st, 2011 11:07 pm
rhu: (torah)
Tomorrow is Shabbat Ha-Chodesh, which means that Pesach is in a few weeks, and I've been meaning to post this for years.

Psalm 136 occurs in the middle of the Hallel (Psalms of Praise) section of the seder. Since there aren't a lot of tunes for it, many people find it boring and I even know many who skip it. In 1996, I wrote a setting of it for my Pesukei d'Zimrah, and it works great as a responsive sing-along at the seder table, too.

Three years ago, I posted the basic sheet music, but what I've really wanted to do was post a recording of it. Tonight I made such a recording, in two formats: solo vocal a cappella, as we sing it at our seder (except that everyone sings along on the "Ki Leolam Chasdo" parts), and for context, the setting for orchestra and chorus. The latter is useful if you can use your imagination to overcome the facts that (1) it's a simulated orchestra and that I am not (2) a soprano, (3) an alto, (4) a tenor, (5) sufficiently rehearsed, nor (6) warmed up.

I hope many of you will find this melody inspirational, fun, and a worthwhile addition to your sedarim.
rhu: (torah)
Tani wasn't sure what to make of the quote from Exodus 12:12 in the seder, "וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים". Cut for length ) 18 possible combinations. That's still a pretty fertile set of words.

What I find most interesting about this, though, is the light that it sheds on each of the commentators and what angle each of them sees in these few words.
rhu: (torah)
Tani wasn't sure what to make of the quote from Exodus 12:12 in the seder, "וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים". Cut for length ) 18 possible combinations. That's still a pretty fertile set of words.

What I find most interesting about this, though, is the light that it sheds on each of the commentators and what angle each of them sees in these few words.
rhu: (Default)
Tani did the four children in Hebrew, as we had practiced, and then blew us away by singing EVERY WORD OF DAYENU, IN HEBREW, AND THEN TRANSLATING. He also asked an excellent question, which I will post separately once I'm done finding the answer.

Alissa did the four questions in Hebrew, and blew us away by SINGING EVERY WORD OF HA LACHMA ANYA AND MOST OF VEHI SHE-AM'DAH. Not to mention her interpretive dance of the four children.

Both kids stayed up to the end of the seder both nights (midnight and 11pm), with boisterous singing and laughing through the songs of nirtzah, especially Chad Gadya.

As you may know, the Hallel on seder night is not a Hallel of recitation but Hallel of "Shira", of the song one spontaneously sings when one is AT THAT MOMENT experiencing a miracle. Seeing our children claim their 3,500-year-old inheritance and put their shoulders to the mantle of being Jewish, Heather and I could not help but sing b'kol ram (with full voice): Moshivi akeret habayit, eim habanim: s'meicha. Halleluyah!
rhu: (Default)
Tani did the four children in Hebrew, as we had practiced, and then blew us away by singing EVERY WORD OF DAYENU, IN HEBREW, AND THEN TRANSLATING. He also asked an excellent question, which I will post separately once I'm done finding the answer.

Alissa did the four questions in Hebrew, and blew us away by SINGING EVERY WORD OF HA LACHMA ANYA AND MOST OF VEHI SHE-AM'DAH. Not to mention her interpretive dance of the four children.

Both kids stayed up to the end of the seder both nights (midnight and 11pm), with boisterous singing and laughing through the songs of nirtzah, especially Chad Gadya.

As you may know, the Hallel on seder night is not a Hallel of recitation but Hallel of "Shira", of the song one spontaneously sings when one is AT THAT MOMENT experiencing a miracle. Seeing our children claim their 3,500-year-old inheritance and put their shoulders to the mantle of being Jewish, Heather and I could not help but sing b'kol ram (with full voice): Moshivi akeret habayit, eim habanim: s'meicha. Halleluyah!
rhu: (simpsonized)
I've added a few stanzas and tweaked a few bits. Long )
rhu: (simpsonized)
I've added a few stanzas and tweaked a few bits. Long )
rhu: (torah)
A friend with small children asked me what the halachic minimum requirement for the Maggid section of the Hagaddah is. Here's what I remember from when I researched it (text taken from WikiSource). Usual disclaimers apply. Long; behind cut )
rhu: (torah)
A friend with small children asked me what the halachic minimum requirement for the Maggid section of the Hagaddah is. Here's what I remember from when I researched it (text taken from WikiSource). Usual disclaimers apply. Long; behind cut )

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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