Lead the People Forward (by Zoey Kambour)

February 13, 2022 in Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized

Lead the People Forward:
The Contemporaneity
of the Medieval Iberian Haggadah

Zoey Kambour, MA

15 February, 2022

Pursuit by the Egyptians. Detail of Figure 4 (see Figure 4b below). Manchester, John Rylands Library, Rylands Heb. MS 6, fol. 18v, lower. Copyright of the University of Manchester.

[Editor’s Note: This blogpost, by GuestBlogger, Zoey Kambour, is published through the process of peer review by three expert reviewers, each of whom we thank. Thanks are due to the owners of the manuscripts and photographers for permission to reproduce the images here of the medieval manuscripts and architectural structures.

About Zoey, see linkedin.com, uoregon.academia.edu/ZoeyK (with CV), and below.  We thank Zoey for proposing to contribute to our blog, preparing this essay from on-going research interests and projects, joining the peer-review process, responding to questions and suggestions, completing the presentation for publication in this format, and obtaining the permissions to reproduce the illustrations here. Congratulations!

Zoey’s essay in the format of a blogpost presents its scholarly structure with Text, interlinked Notes, Acknowledgments, Zoey Kambour’s Biography, and Figures. All the full-size Figures appear in a group at the end, with details along the way.]

“Lead the People Forward”

Passover is a holiday that focuses on the personalized retelling of Exodus — the second book in the Torah, which tells the story of the plight, liberation, and departure of the Israelites under the prophet Moses in Egypt. In this retelling, the participants must see themselves as if they were liberated from Egypt.[1]  In addition, the exercise facilitates reflection on how the story of Jewish liberation applies to the current moment.  During a time of stress and loss, such as the current  pandemic, Passover is a deeply unifying holiday; it reminds the Jewish people of their deep connection to each other, despite the quarantined distance, through their suffering and fight for freedom. Passover conveys a message of hope that applies to any current moment.

The Haggadah (plural Haggadot), the text recited at Seder, is not liturgical, but rather a guide. The participants follow the order of prayers and interactions with the ritual foods displayed on the Seder plate. After the Seder, Exodus is retold in the Maggid portion of the Haggadah.[2]  However, unlike a standard liturgical text, the worshippers are encouraged to ad lib, improvise, and add their own unique spin upon the story of Exodus during the performance.

Read the rest of this entry →