The Telling: How Judaism’s Essential Book Reveals the Meaning of Life

Mark Gerson. St. Martin’s Essentials, $29.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-62424-6
Gerson (In the Classroom), host of the podcast The Rabbi’s Husband, provides a revelatory addition to the voluminous literature about the Haggadah. In discussing well-known sections of the text used on Passover—such as the four children or the 10 plagues—Gerson suggests the Haggadah isn’t just to be used during the seders. Instead, he argues that “all of modern life’s great questions are asked and answered in” the Haggadah, making it relevant year-round, to Jews and non-Jews alike. He buttresses that counterintuitive position with an analysis of the text’s core concepts, such as the universal message of the importance of freedom that the Exodus story exemplifies, the primacy of education, and what he terms the “greatest principle of the Torah”—to love the stranger. Gerson goes on to offer practical suggestions on how best to prepare for the seders, and ways to supplement the Haggadah, whose text is mostly silent on the actual telling of the exodus from Egypt. Even those who don’t accept the proposition that the Haggadah answers every question will find much to ponder in Gerson’s measured, persuasive outing. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/07/2020
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Religion
MP3 CD - 978-1-7136-1920-8
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