Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter (Colors)

In wishing a happy Easter to my Christian friends, I’m wondering, this being the season, if anyone out there know anything  about the sartorial origins of all those pastel and other bright colored outfits that seem to be so popular … Continue reading

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A Little Grotesque (Redemption) (Washington Haggadah)

I really like the appearance of these two little grotesque figures. They appear in profile in the Washington Haggadah. I also like David Stern’s comment about them. “[T]he grotesques sometimes appear, almost partially hidden, inside the large colored panels that … Continue reading

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Domestic Redemption (No Meta-Narrative) (Washington Haggadah)

David Stern explains the difference between the medieval Sephardi versus Ashkenazi Haggadah has having to do with the difference between a more group-national perspective versus a more domestic scale. You can see this in the Golden Haggadah, the Rylands Haggadah, … Continue reading

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Redemption (Brutal) (Brother Haggadah)

This is one brutal Haggadah. I ran into it in Marc Epstein’s new book on the medieval Haggadah. It is the so-called “Brother Haggadah” to the more famous Rylands Haggadah. It’s presumed to be 14th C. Catalonian. The figures in … Continue reading

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Redemption (On A More Bitter Note)

This seems apropos to Passover, and to the Easter story as well –the the death of Rabbi Herschel Schacter, who was the first American Jewish military chaplain to enter Buchenwald after the liberation of the camp. This article appeared in today’s … Continue reading

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Women Matter More (The Golden Haggadah)

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much illumination of the Hebrew Bible or so many women in any other Hebrew manuscript; about this, there seems to be no inhibition.  Once more, Marc Epstein is my guide to the illuminated … Continue reading

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Angelic Animal Jews (Birds’ Head Haggadah)

I never knew what to make of the figures in the Birds’ Head Haggadah until I read Marc Michael Epstein’s recently published The Medieval Haggadh: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination. First of all, and perhaps most obviously, the birds are … Continue reading

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Rubbernecking (What Do You Think About After Politics?)

What do you do when your attentional focus gets overtaken by politics and political events –the Newtown massacre, slaughter in Syria, the inevitable self-dooming of Israel by its political right? Talk about something else, think about something else, but how … Continue reading

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Israel Politics People Listening

I was blown away by this picture in the New York Times of the audience in Jerusalem at President Obama’s recent speech. Different groups of Israeli young people thinking different thoughts. What a complex place and what a complex condition. … Continue reading

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On Israel and Palestine and Barack Obama

There was a lot of schmaltz in Obama’s speech in Jerusalem, but at its core, it was a tough minded speech. What I think Obama got right were the two fundamental drivers that create the tension that defines not just … Continue reading

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