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JBC Author Series - The Passover Haggadah: A Biography

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 25 Adar 5781

8:00 PM - 9:30 PMVia Zoom

Watch Archived Event Here

"And you shall tell your son on that day..." This simple command in Exodus has led to more than five thousand versions of the Passover story. Ochs recounts its life beginning with various mentions in the Bible and ending with the profusion of Haggadot today; these variations reflect the geographical spread of Jewish communities, the diversity of practice, and historic events. For anyone interested in the emergence and complex evolution of the Haggadah, this biography offers a trove of information in engaging and inviting language. 

From the biblical mentions of the original Passover, to centers of Jewish learning consolidating texts into a recognizable Haggadah in the eleventh century, to the question of how to memorialize the Holocaust within the Haggadah when creating postwar Haggadot, The Passover Haggadah: A Biography asks the question of why we keep revising the Haggadah after centuries of use. In the closing of the biography, Ochs critiques the flaws and the value of the Haggadah and concludes that the final pages of its life are yet to be written. 

Click here* to purchase The Passover Haggadah: A Biography
*For a 30% discount on your purchase, use code OCHS upon checkout.


Rabbi Vanessa L. Ochs is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and an ordained rabbi. Her books include Inventing Jewish Ritual, which won a National Jewish Book Award; Sarah Laughed: Modern Lessons from the Wisdom and Stories of Biblical Women; and Words on Fire: One Woman's Journey into the Sacred. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Thu, April 22 2021 10 Iyar 5781