Sukkah Soul Blog


March 25 - 14 Nisan 5773 - First Seder

March 25

14 Nisan 5773, First Seder


• El Lissitzky and Frank Stella side by side video.


•The meaning of Had Gadya


It would seem that the song was originally intended to arouse and amuse the children seated around the Seder table.  It unfolds in a logical progression, with each event resulting from the previous one and leading to the next.  All of the preceding lines are added to each new line, thus creating the distinctive cumulative structure of the song.  This format, typical of many folk legends and songs, naturally invites allegorical interpretation. 


The most common interpretation regards the song as an allegory of the fate of the Jewish people.  The small goat is seen as the Jewish nation, and all those ranged against him symbolize the enemies of Israel through the generations; the cat is the Kingdom of Assyria; the dog is Babylon; the stick is the kingdom of Persia; the fire is Greece; the water is Rome; the ox is the Muslims; the slaughterer is the Crusaders; and the Angel of Death is the Turks who conquered the Land of Israel and prevented is redemption until the Holy One intervened.


‘Had Gadya’ may also be seen as a story of the disruption of the existing order, the struggle between warring powers, and the creation of a new order.


-by Edna Moshenson, curator of the show at the Tel Aviv Museum

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