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‘Whoever Is Hungry, Come and Eat’

‘Whoever Is Hungry, Come and Eat’ AbstractThe provenance of the opening Aramaic portion of the Passover Haggadah has confounded practitioners and scholars for centuries. Little evidence has come to light to explain the origins of this passage or the fluctuations in its attending practices over time. This article argues that additional evidence, found in some neglected Talmudic manuscripts and in incantation bowls, reveals that the core recitational and practical elements of this passage were originally unrelated to Passover or Jewish ritual. Instead, they were part of a recognised social script in late antique Jewish Babylonia that was integrated into the Passover Haggadah. With changes in Babylonian Jewish society, and with the transmission of this section and its associated practices to Jewish communities outside of Babylonia, the original social and cultural context of this sentence was forgotten. Untethered from the setting in which it was culturally legible, it developed through encounters with new actors in different contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aramaic Studies Brill

‘Whoever Is Hungry, Come and Eat’

Aramaic Studies , Volume 18 (2): 27 – Nov 17, 2020

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1477-8351
eISSN
1745-5227
DOI
10.1163/17455227-bja10014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe provenance of the opening Aramaic portion of the Passover Haggadah has confounded practitioners and scholars for centuries. Little evidence has come to light to explain the origins of this passage or the fluctuations in its attending practices over time. This article argues that additional evidence, found in some neglected Talmudic manuscripts and in incantation bowls, reveals that the core recitational and practical elements of this passage were originally unrelated to Passover or Jewish ritual. Instead, they were part of a recognised social script in late antique Jewish Babylonia that was integrated into the Passover Haggadah. With changes in Babylonian Jewish society, and with the transmission of this section and its associated practices to Jewish communities outside of Babylonia, the original social and cultural context of this sentence was forgotten. Untethered from the setting in which it was culturally legible, it developed through encounters with new actors in different contexts.

Journal

Aramaic StudiesBrill

Published: Nov 17, 2020

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