Once We Were Slaves
April 15, 2003 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Avadim Chayeinu: A BDSM Haggadah In some way or another, all who celebrate Passover, end up writing their own Haggadahs. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different ones to choose from. Tradition says: never forget that YOU were freed from the land of Egypt. The desire to tell one's own tale of liberation and free one's own voice has led to holocaust haggadahs, gay and lesbian hagaddahs, zionist hagaddahs, feminist haggadahs, secular humanist haggadahs and now, a haggadah for those to whom the term "slave" has an altogether different meaning. (via boingboing.)
posted by jann (6 comments total)

 
Daniel Lazare wrote an interesting article which was published in Harpers claiming the Israelites were never slaves were never slaves . Of course he could be wrong and a lot of people who's faith might rely on these facts sure hope he's wrong .
posted by abez at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2003


None of the links (except possible the first which I'm not opening at work, just based on the title) explain what a haggadah is, for those of us who have no idea. I gather from context that it's a story and a script for a passover dinner, but could someone explain it more clearly.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:39 AM on April 15, 2003


You got it, Jacquilynne. The Hagadah tells the story of the Exodus, gives prayers and songs for the Seder, often in a number of different languages (our family Hagadot use Hebrew, Yiddish, English, Ladino and Spanish, among others). I've seen academic/historic Hagadot, picture-books, Hagadot in poetry, etc. Takes all kinds.

I'm going to try to put my own together for my family, with items from as many different Jewish traditions as I can find. If anyone here is interested in contributing or getting a copy of the finished as a high-res printable PDF with lots of illustrations (I'm collecting them now, this will be ready for next year I hope), email me.
posted by luriete at 11:01 AM on April 15, 2003


From my orthodox jewish upbringing, my understanding of the haggadah is exactly that -- a story and a script for the dinner. It contains the order of rituals for the evening as well as all of the blessings and the story of the exodus, with assorted bits and pieces thrown in.

I can tell you this: 4 cups of wine (which we drink) notwithstanding, those non-traditional haggaddahs sound a lot more interesting. :)
posted by callmejay at 11:02 AM on April 15, 2003


The word haggadah means to tell, or to relate. The Haggadah is a vivid narrative which is set in the context of a parent-child dialogue. Passover, with the Haggadah as its focus, tells every Jew three things: who you are, where you came from, and what you stand for. The message inherent in the Haggadah is that Jewish identity and continuity hinge on encouraging children to ask questions -- and being prepared as parents to provide sensitive and substantive answers. In Judaism, being learned, knowledgeable, and wise is not only a goal, it's a prerequisite.

Passover is a holiday where relating the story of Passover is an inherent part of the event. Additionally, the relating of the story takes place via a series of questions [eg "why is this night different from all other nights?"] that get the points of the story across. The Haggadah is the telling of the story including the ritualized asking and answering of questions associated with this or, commonly, the printed materials that you have with a seder outlining the ritual. People then often customize this to suit their personal needs, as in the links jann provided. Yale has a really good collection of Haggadahs online as well.
posted by jessamyn at 11:05 AM on April 15, 2003


Open Source Haggadah
posted by sarelicar at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2003


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