Crossposted From Under the Fig Tree
What’s striking about the holiday of Pesach isn’t its historicity so much as its contemporaneity. There, I’ve said it.
You would think that I would be most quick to praise the festival’s biblical origins, the ninth-century roots of the haggadah, or, at the very least, great grandma’s Depression-era dishes.
While there’s much to be said for each one of these historical phenomena, what really hits home is how the repertoire of Pesach-related objects, activities, and foodstuffs grows and grows and grows.
Several years ago, Moses action figures capable of “articulating” their joints in 16 different directions took pride of place at the holiday table. “This pint sized hero can bring a miraculous new level of excitement to your Seder,” gushed advertisements, suggesting that this most agile of biblical heroes would make for a very good guest, indeed.
Last year, the “New American Haggadah” was all the rage. Panned or praised, it was the talk of the town. Virtually everyone I knew had one.