Seder or Symposium: Rabbi Prof Golinkin On Seder Origins


Rabbi Professor David Golinkin, discusses the connection between the rituals of the ancient Greek symposium and many of the Seder rituals. Jewish communities throughout the generations did not live in vacuums; they absorbed much from their surroundings. generations did not live in vacuums; they absorbed much from their surroundings. Yet they did not absorb other people’s traditions indiscriminately. What can we learn from all these parallels?

Life Cycle, Tu Bishvat, the environment …and the contested phosphate quarry near Arad


Tu Bishvat is mentioned in the Mishna as Rosh Hashanah L’Ilan, the New Year of the Tree. It gained in popularity when the 16th-century Kabbalists in Safed began to hold a Seder Tu Bishvat and eat up to 30 types of fruits, while the Zionists in the 20th century began to plant trees on Tu Bishvat.