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Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Pesachim

The Talmud on the Pesach Seder

In this intermediate level class you will learn to understand the unique give-and-take style of Talmudic debate and discussion. Text for this class is in middle of chapter ten of tractate Pesachim, titled ‘Arvei Pesachim’, and we pick up the Talmud’s discussion at folio 115a.

The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 1
This Talmudic offering on traces the Signature Jewish-Sandwich back to its bitter roots! See why the proverbial Hillel innovation of eating the Maror (bitter herbs) together with the Matzoh (bread of affliction) gives us a strange and unique legal challenge! This provocative ancient analysis by our Sages of the most basic Seder night procedures will give a profound new understanding of the contemporary Seder rituals we perform.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 2
This Talmud class analyzes the reclining position assumed during segments of the Seder observances. Why is body positioning even an issue; is it mandatory or an optional form of self-expression? We’ll discuss who is included in this halachic responsibility, and when during the Seder this posture positioning is relevant. This discussion about posture, freedom and health will provide you with a fresh appreciation for the Seder night, and a new understanding of one of the central Seder features.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 3
This Talmud class traces the roots of the four cups through a tangled vine of sacred Torah traditions. Discover why this grape-based alcoholic drink is such an important component of the Passover Seder for both men and woman alike, as we shed new light on the leadership role the women played in catalyzing the Exodus. See how these cups should be filled with both wine and freedom—and how it’s possible to sometimes experience one without the other!
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 4
This class begins with continued examination of Halachik details regarding the “Four Cups;” with particular focus on volume, taste, and color of the Seder wine. This segues into a related, yet different discussion about the importance of keeping the children awake; with time-honored traditional strategies to successfully achieve this.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 5
Introducing a sacred mandate to gladden the hearts of one's household, the Talmud muses and discusses diversely appropriate happiness inducing mediums. Possibilities range from “wine and beef,” to “clothing and candy.” Interesting and inspirational, this class clarifies the requirements to ensure that our holidays are joyously celebrated.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 6
This class provides a comprehensive overview of the notion of Halachic sizes and measures comprising the specific parameters of the fulfillment of many Mitzvahs. This discussion serves as an intro to understanding the Talmud’s analysis of the required volume and other technical details – all related to properly drinking the proverbial four glasses of wine at the Seder. This session ultimately concludes with pragmatic instructions and practical application of these Torah theorems.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 7
Following the Kiddush wine, the “Order” of the proverbial Passover dinner seems to aimlessly wander away from the typical holiday repast tradition, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Discover the ingeniously choreographed Seder strategy that was designed to piqué children’s curiosity and engage them in an annual sacred multi-media educational program. Meet the respected members of the Seder plate lineup in their earliest documented iteration, and gain valuable insight into the Mitzvah mechanics of this most magical night of the year!
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 8
In its initial analysis of the Mishnah, a great sage presumed to have uncovered the answer to a question that had long baffled the sages: must a mitzvah be performed intentionally, or can meaning be attributed to mindless actions? The Talmud engages in rigorous, its unique signature give-and-take, to meticulously analyze the supposition and frame it in the precision-driven syntax our sages employed. Although ultimately, the supposition is dismissed, the analysis is illuminating, revealing and instructive on many levels as we emerge with a clearer understanding of the Seder etiquette and the thought invested into each detail of its revered rituals. (Pesachim page 114 b)
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 9
Opening statement: three words enable fulfillment at the Passover Seder. But what does this mean? Are these “magic” words, or do they represent the ideals in which we frame this “magical” nights narrative? Does the absence of this syntax rob us of fulfilment altogether, or is this indicative of best practices instead of necessity? Finally, which fulfilment of which obligation do we specifically speak of in this Mishna? The discussion leads us to a profound appreciation of how we are supposed to perform our annual Haggadah-telling of the Exodus at the Seder.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 10
A pithy Mishna cryptically speaks of the Passover Seder Dinner's conclusion, the Sages carefully analyze and elucidate. The result is a profound understanding of how (and why) the taste of the Korban Pesach meat or (in our exilic times) Matzah must linger on as the night moves into its songful climax. This Talmud class is on tractate Pesachim page 119b-120a.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 11
The modern Seder mandates of Matzah and Maror are the primary focus of this class about the edible component of the Passover Seder. Dinner notwithstanding, Passover night is vastly different than any other Jewish festival. Most will feature formal holiday meals that include traditional dishes, yet none are a religious duty. It's only at the Pesach Seder that we are all religiously obligated to eat certain sacred foods, and with specifications of the amount required to be eaten This discussion will serve you fascinating food for thought, profound insight and lots of information! This Talmud class is on tractate Pesachim page 120a.
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 12
In this class, we embark on a literary journey into the backstory of the biblical terminology used for Matzah, the unleavened bread we’re commanded to consume on Pesach. We discover the deeper messages kneaded into hallowed Torah etymology about the hastily baked bread that serves to define Passover’s narrative! From edible props, to broken spirits and empty pantries, we learn to appreciate the Seder table settings on another level. This Talmud class is on tractate Pesachim page 115b-116a.
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