Late-Breaking Passover Edition

So the Mythographer arrived too late on the Passover scene to really ham it up, but thankfully other smarter heads than I have been busy unpacking beloved Biblical stories…and in a way which perfectly illustrates the mission of MM. First comes Bruce Feiler, author of Walking the Bible, an earnestly noncommittal (and bestselling) account of combing the lands mentioned in the Bible for remaining physical traces of religious stories.  He publishes an article in Gourmet magazine of all places, systematically debunking some basic myths associated with the Passover Seder on the grounds that they are not fact-based.  Feiler, along with scientists that he brought around for backup, were suddenly everywhere. They do an entertaining number on All Things Considered. No, the Israelites did not cross the Red Sea.  No, the Israelites did not build the pyramids.  No, the Israelites did not usually eat sitting up–which makes the ritual reclining on Passover meaningless.  Meaningless, that is, if you judge your ritual based on facts.  Thankfully, the thoughtful New York Times columnist Judith Warner noticed this logical flaw.  In her April 9th column Warner proudly declares that she is not bothered by the relative truth-value of the beloved Seder myths.  She knows that religious rituals are really about family and togetherness, not facts.   To be continued, I’m sure.
And here it goes: Separate from Feiler, Slate tackles the myth-debunking.



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