Best Of The Web
“As our family Seder comes to a close, no one is really in the mood for deep discussion. At this late hour, and after four cups of good wine, we and our guests just want to sing the classic songs and enjoy ourselves. As a result, Chad Gadya, the enigmatic little ditty about a father and his unfortunate goat, gets little serious attention, although we do relish doing the actions and the animal sounds.
Chad Gadya, however, does have some profound undercurrents, especially when an often-made mistake is corrected. It is well-known that the “Pesach” was the paschal sacrifice offered by each Israelite family when the Temple stood in Jerusalem on the eve of Passover. However, many make the mistake of thinking this was always a lamb offering. In fact, the Torah calls the animal to be offered a seh.
This is a Hebrew collective term for a lamb and a kid, as it says, “An unblemished seh, a year-old male you shall have, from the sheep or from the goats you may take it” (Exodus 12:5). So the Pesach offering could be a paschal lamb or a paschal goat. This places the Chad Gadya story at the centre in the Seder. For that goat can represent the Jewish people surviving oppression, as they did way back in ancient Egypt when the paschal goat was first eaten.
With this knowledge, each stanza of Chad Gadya can represent a subsequent oppressor of our people. First is the cat “that came and ate the goat”. The cat represents ancient Egypt who considered the animal sacred (the goddess Bastet), and often mummified them. A cat eating a goat is anatomically dubious but the author of the song is forced to employ a feline as he wants to reference a popular symbol of Egypt.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"On June 23, Erdogan and his party suffered a historic debacle in the rerun of the mayoral race in Istanbul. Binali Yildirim, an AKP heavyweight who ran as the candidate of the People’s Alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party..."
"Former Vice President Joe Biden will enter the first Democratic presidential debates with 19 rivals taking aim at him — nine on the night he will be onstage, 10 the night he won't be there to defend himself. He is the clear-cut frontrunner and..."
"The latest round of attacks and counterattacks in Israel and Gaza demonstrates the respective governments’ inability to extricate their people from an awful situation, decades in the making. Palestinians and Israelis live in the same land, share..."
"Yesterday, a new musical dramedy debuting this Friday, conjures up a world we can’t begin to imagine: one in which the Beatles never existed. Somehow, after a global blackout, no one on Earth has ever heard of the band, except for the protagonist.."
"“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump said as he launched his bid for re-election last week. That declaration was an effort to frighten Americans and undermine growing support for expanding Medicare and Social Security..."
"SpaceX launched 60 satellites last month that now swarm around our planet like bees around a hive. It’s the first phase of Elon Musk’s ambitious Starlink project that will eventually send thousands of satellites into orbit to create a worldwide..."
""At the end of May, TIAA, the financial services and investing giant, rolled out new gender-identity awareness guidelines for its client-facing consultants. The guidance included: “Never assume someone’s gender identity” and “Be aware that a..."
"Nobody knows who threw the first brick at Stonewall. It might not even have been a brick. Legend has it a woman in the crowd yelled, “Aren’t you going to do something?” as she was dragged away by cops. We don’t know who she was."
"Secular studies were an afterthought in my all-male yeshiva high school, offered in the late afternoon after eight hours of religious subjects. After “English,” we often returned for a few more hours of Torah study. The person who was supposed,,,"
"Meat is dead. Carnivores are going the way of cigarette smokers and, by 2050, there’s a good chance that it will be socially unacceptable to eat meat. In the same way that we’re now horrified people used to smoke in offices and airplanes, we’ll..."
"In order to embody the philosophy of elegant simplicity, we need to address the relationship between science and spirituality. Some people think that science and spirituality are polar opposites, but are they? Science is about things which can..."
"Labels are a necessary evil when talking about Judaism. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform denote different religious streams, but they are simply primary colours which hardly do justice to the kaleidoscopic variety of the modern Jewish landscape..."