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Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

The Four Questions Around the World

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? by Ilana Kurshan
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This fascinating, informative, and beautifully illustrated books translates the Passover seder's Four Questions into twenty-three languages and provides capsule histories of the Jews in the countries where the languages are spoken.

The recitation of the Four Questions at the beginning of the Passover seder by the youngest participant is one of the highlights of the evening and captures its very essence: to keep the memory of the Exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery alive in our minds, and to teach our children about their heritage and history. This unique volume covers a variety of languages of the Jewish Diaspora—from French to Farsi, from Latin to Ladino, from Amharic to Afrikaans, from Yiddish to Swedish to Chinese. For each language a translation (and, where necessary, a transliteration) of the Four Questions is provided, accompanied by a brief overview of Jewish life and culture among the speakers of the language, and an illustrations of either historical or contemporary interest.

The perfect seder gift, Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? is also an excellent introduction to Jewish history in the Diaspora for young and old alike.

From the Hardcover edition.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; November 2008
160 pages; ISBN 9780307493163
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Title: Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
Author: Ilana Kurshan
"For many Jewish children, the Ma Nishtana represents their first public performance... What is interesting, and characteristically Jewish, is that this first public performance is composed of questions. Questions have played a critical role in Jewish life from the very beginning. In the Bible, they are often directed to God... However, unlike demanding theological questions, the Four Questions of the Ma Nishtana are directed at one's parents. And the queries presuppose that the questioner intends to observe the holiday's rituals but simply wants a greater understanding of how and why to do so.

Jewish children have been reciting the Ma Nishtana for about a hundred generations and, as this book makes clear, in many different countries. But of one thing we can be sure: As long as children a chanting these questions, the Jewish people will go on."
--From the introduction by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

From the Hardcover edition.