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
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."