The Origin and Tradition History of Passover and Matsot


Wed, Mar 10, 2021    
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Type

Sponsored by The Jewish Center Princeton
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With Professor Alan Cooper
Interactive Zoom Class

Close reading of Exodus chapters 12-13 shows that two disparate old festivals were combined in order to create a new one to commemorate God’s miraculous act of liberation from Egyptian slavery, the event that defines Jewish peoplehood.  We will undertake some of that close reading together, discuss the possible origins of the two festivals, explain how and why they were interwoven, and examine how the composite text provides us with a script for “when [our] children ask [us], ‘What do you mean by this rite?’” (Exodus 12:26; see also 13:8, 14).

Alan Cooper is the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty in 1997 as a professor of Bible and has served as director of publications chair of the Bible faculty, and, from 2007 to 2018, provost of JTS. In 1998, he was appointed professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary, becoming the first person to hold concurrent professorships at JTS and Union.



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Registration closes 24 hours before the class. We cannot accept late registrations.