Maron L. Waxman, retired editorial director, special projects, at the American Museum of Natural History, was also an editorial director at HarperCollins and Book-of-the-Month Club.
The JPS Commentary on the Haggadah: Historical Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
Just as Jews gather every Passover to reexperience the exodus from Egypt, so the haggadah over the years has reflected their experiences in the various places and societies they have lived. In the JPS Commentary on the Haggadah Rabbi Joseph Tabory, a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University and authority on the history of the haggadah, traces the haggadah to its origins and shows how it developed through a complex of sources including rabbinic discourse, midrash, and local custom. Tabory opens with a history of the sources, then goes through the seder step by step, taking each ritual from its origin to its modern form. The third section is Tabory’s translation of the seder, alongside the Hebrew, with additional commentary. Tabory’s focus is the traditional seder and does not cover additions that speak to many contemporary concerns — the Shoah, the Civil Rights movement, feminism — although he occasionally notes where such additions might be inserted. For seder leaders and students interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of the text and the rituals, this commentary is a valuable source. Bibliography, illustrations.
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