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How did the Pesach Seder become a Family Affair?

Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz / April 16, 2019

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This lecture will explore biblical, second temple, and rabbinic texts about how Pesach was celebrated in a diversity of ways in antiquity - as it is observed in many different ways in the present as well.  We will think about how Pesach was imagined to originate as a family ritual, how it took a detour as a priestly and scholarly men's endeavor, and then how it circled back in new ways to the family table.  We will begin, though, at the 2018 Samaritan Passover sacrifice in Nablus, in order to consider as expansively as possible the various trajectories that Pesach celebrations have taken or could have taken since antiquity, and then go back in time to the book of Exodus and beyond.  This lecture will be anchored in historical sources, but it aims to provoke us to think creatively and practically about how ideas related to time, memory, historical reenactment, and intergenerational rituals can be incorporated into contemporary Seders today.


Recording - 04/16/2019


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Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz teaches rabbinic literature and Jewish Studies at Fordham University in New York City. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, studied Talmud and archaeology as a Fulbright Fellow at the Hebrew University, was a post-doc at Harvard University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, taught at the University of Toronto and Andover Newton Theological School, and most recently spent a year as a research fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Study in Jerusalem. She is currently completing a book titled Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism, under contract with Princeton University Press. Sarit also writes about Jews in the Roman Empire, Jewish-Christian relations, women and gender, and bringing ancient texts into contemporary classrooms. She lives in Riverdale with her husband, Jonathan, and their three children.


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