Rabbinic Development of Passover

The seder takes shape in the rabbinic period.

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In an ideal sense, all Israel went forth out of Egypt and all Israel stood before Sinai. The conception of the seder meal as an experience rather than simply a recitation of text runs like a silver thread through the whole of Jewish tradition and finds expression on every page of the Haggadah. "Every person in every generation," says a familiar passage in the Haggadah, "must look upon himself as if he personally had come forth out of Egypt." The deliverance by Egypt paved the way for Mount Sinai and Israel's acceptance of its divine mission. The seder narrative relates the whole story of how the Israelites move progressively from darkness to light.

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Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs

Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs is the spiritual leader of Temple Sholom in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has served as the publications committee chairperson of the Rabbinical Assembly.