4 Sons & Sons

A discussion of Pesah/Passover generally and the Hagadah specifically. Please comment and contribute!

Monday, November 28, 2005

How old is the Haggadah?

Pretty old, it seems. Not as old as the Bible, but older than the Mishnah. Before we get any further, let's keep in mind that we are dealing with the bulk of the Hagadah, mostly Magid and that plenty of stuff has been added over the years. Most of Nirtsah, for example, is relatively new.

Judith Hauptmann suggests that since there is no Hagadah mentioned in the Tosefta, that the early Hagadah was compiled between the time of the Tosefta and the completion of the Mishnah, between 70 and 200 CE. (Hauptmann believes, contrary to other scholars, that the Tosefta predates the Mishnah and was the source material for, rather than a commentary on, the Mishnah) .

There is an idea in the Haggadah that we start with genut, disgrace and finish with shevah, praise. We can see the early origin of the idea by looking at early Christian writers such as Melito who also used the technique in his Pesach sermons. He also included such familiar topics as the expounding of Devarim 26:5-9, expounding on pesah, matsah and maror, reclining and the meaning of the afikomen. (Bokser)


At 3:09 PM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Important question. On the one extreme, Finkelstein and (להבחל"ח) Guggenheimer date virtually all of the Haggozo to Bayis Sheini times. On the other hand, Goldschmidt daes much of it (especially the compiling, and the "random" halakhic statements such as רבן גמליאל אומר כל שלא אמר שלשה דברים בפסח לא יצא ידי חובתו) to Geonic times.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Where is Prof. Hauptmann's article on the topic? (I know that she is a great expert on Tôsefto.)

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Tam said...

I think Finkelstein and co. were mainly talking about the Bikurim-centered stuff, no? I need to reread.

Hauptman's article can be found online here: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_1_51/ai_85068465

Have you read her book Rereading the Rabbis?

And what the heck does להבחל"ח mean? I did choose my nom-de-blog carefully.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...



To distinguish between those who are living (in `ôlam ho'emes, because tsaddiqim are never called "dead") and those who are living (here on earth).

I have read large chunks of Re-Reading the Rabbis, but never the whole thing. Interesting stuff.


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