Passover

Oranges, Miriam's Cup, and Other Passover Rituals

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Passover is next week. How did that happen?! I haven't even begun to prepare, but was reminded that I better get on the ball after reading the opinion piece "Raising Cups, Dropping Oranges" by Aurora Mendelsohn in the Forward. Mendelsohn discusses the ways in which her Seder's feminist rituals have changed over the past decade: Miriam's Cup has endured while the orange on the Seder plate has disappeared.

More on Jews, Jewesses, and Thanksgiving

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Apropos of Ellen's comment about "what makes Thanksgiving so meaningful for some American Jews" in her prior post, I thought I'd share an excerpt from an article published in The American Jewess in November 1896.

Midwives, Oranges, and Matzah Frisbee?!

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With Passover fast approaching, now is a perfect time to think about the many roles of courageous women in historical and contemporary quests for freedom.

As a start, check out the Jewish Women's Archive's resource on Jewish midwives which highlights Shifra and Puah, two women who play a critical part in the Exodus story through their acts of resistance in sparing the lives of Hebrew male babies born in Egypt.

The American Jewess: Passover in 19th Century London

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In honor of Passover (three more days to clean!), this week's featured TAJ article is "Passover Eve in Petticoat Lane" an account of the Passover prep in London's Jewish marketplace.

What's in an Orange?

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As I prepare for Passover, I’ve been struck by the wide range of explanations given for why some Jews include an orange on a Seder plate.

Shopping for social justice?

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In my online preparation for Passover, I came across a site called “japshopper.” How is this connected with Passover, you might ask? It’s actually the site of an artist named Melissa Shiff, and JAP stands for “Jewish art projects, products, politics.” Redefining the term, Shiff is selling her Jewish-themed, activist art creations (e.g. the Crush oppression matzo pillow and Matzo Ball Activist Kit) and donating a percentage of the profits to feed hungry people and to support progressive art projects.

Four new questions for the Passover seder

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Tomorrow night, Jews all over the world will sit down for a Passover seder. Some of us will listen to our grandfathers mumble through the hagaddah, and others will incorporate new rituals, like Miriam’s Cup and putting an orange on the seder plate – signs of how feminism has transformed Jewish ritual life.

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