The Spirit of Liberation: A Pre-Passover Yom Iyun

The Spirit of Liberation: A Pre-Passover Yom Iyun
רוח החירות: יום עיון לקראת פסח
In memory of Arlene Harel z”l

April 4, 2022 / 3 Nissan 5782

Join Pardes IN PERSON in Jerusalem for a day of learning, reflection and creativity.
Registration required. This event is free of charge.
If you would like to make a donation to Pardes in memory of Arlene Harel, z”l, please visit online.

Register Here

Classes listed in English will take place in English, with texts offered in both the original Hebrew / Aramaic and in translation. Classes listed in Hebrew will take place entirely in Hebrew.

11:50 am-1:00 pm / Opening session 

The Spirit of Liberation: Dwelling in the Realm of Possibility – The Torah of Arlene / Yiscah Smith

2:30-4:30 pm / Choice of faculty sessions

The Haggada as a Pedagogic Strategy: How Is This Year Different From All Other Years? / Michael Hattin

The retelling of the exodus from Egypt is one of the primary rituals associated with the Seder.  This foundational story, so central to Jewish identity, invites us to explore the transition from hardship to relief and from slavery to freedom.  But, as we have experienced this past year, that transition can be laborious, drawn out and fraught with tension.  

In this class, we will examine the underlying structure of the Haggada and consider how its text has been carefully assembled as a pedagogic tool designed to elicit intellectual discussion and emotional engagement.  Along the way, we may discover that the message of the Haggada, while perennially relevant, holds special power for us this year.

Real Home Makeover: Pesach Edition / Zvi Hirschfield

Join us as we explore the basics of turning our homes into “chametz-free” zones – without enslaving ourselves in the process! What’s the magic of boiling water? Do I really need all that tinfoil? We’ll tackle some practical tips and techniques for kashering and cleaning without going overboard, in a way that preserves the true spirit of the holiday. During the second half of this class, we will cover practical halakhot relating to the seder itself. While interactive, this class will not include a havruta (paired learning) component.

מהו חמץ? פרספקטיבה מדעית / דניאל רייפמן

מקובל לחשוב שחמץ מוגדר פשוט כבצק ששהה יותר מ-18 דקות לפני שנאפתה. אולם עיון במקורות ההלכתיים מגלה תמונה הרבה יותר מורכבת. בשיעור זה נשתמש במקורות הללו להציע הגדרה מדעית לחמץ, ונדון בהשלכות אפשריות של הגדרה זאת לייצור מזון תעשייתי בימינו.

5:00-6:30 pm / Keynote sessions with guest faculty

אוצרות הפסח במסורת החסידית / ארט גרין


Making the Exodus Our Own: Can Storytelling Set Us Free / Rachel Sharansky Danziger

The Haggadah tells us a story about freedom, but it tells it in fits and starts, and strays far from the original narrative in the book of Exodus. Why choose such a disjointed path? How does it affect its readers? And what does any of it have to do with freedom in our time, personally and as a nation?

6:30-7:15 pm / FREE dinner for students and young professionals

7:15-8:45 pm / Evening welcome followed by choice of faculty sessions

Ma Nishtana: How are Our Four Questions Different from the Original? / Rahel Berkovits

For any young Jewish child, the recitation of the Ma Nishtana is one of the highlights of the Passover Seder, however, once the questions get asked, they never seem to be answered. What is the purpose of these questions and why does the child ask them? In this session we will examine the original text of the Ma Nishtana as it appears in the text of the Mishnah and try to unpack its deeper meaning within the context of the seder.

Pesach, Avraham Avinu, and Brit Chesed: Pahad Yitzhak 18 / Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Avraham Avinu (Abraham) features in the Haggadah more than Moshe Rabbenu (Moses)! Where? And Why? The great contemporary Jewish thinker, Rav Yitzhak Hutner (Pahad Yitzhak), connects this feature to the Covenant of Kindness and explains its deep roots in the meaning of Pesach.  How does this call on us to act with more Chesed (loving kindness) in the world?

תאווה מתוך הפרך”: סיפור על אהבה וחופש / גילה פיין”

מדוע בתנ”ך אין אהבות שמחות? מי היו האוהבים אשר הצילו את עם ישראל? ואיך חז”ל מנפצים את אחד ממיתוסי האהבה הגדולים של זמנם? קריאה במדרש תנחומא על פרשת פקודי, לאור המקרא והתלמוד, אובידיוס וקארווג’ו, המהר”ל מפראג והאחים גרים, ז’אק לאקאן וג’ורג’ אורוול, אריך פרום והארי פוטר

9:00-10:00 pm / Interactive Creative Workshops

Choices include:

  • Artmaking: Join us in creating your own beautiful sederplate or cup of Elijah / Miriam, using a faux-stained-glass technique.
  • Song-sharing: Join us as we sing our way through the Haggadah, covering both traditional tunes and introducing lesser-known gems.
  • Seder-leading for engagement: Join us as we explore tools, tips and techniques for engaging seder participants in a meaningful, hands-on experience, from young to old!