This comprehensive, textual treatment of the Kaifeng Passover Rite is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion of the community’s origins in particular and to comparative Jewish liturgy in general. The book includes a facsimile of one manuscript and a sample of the other, the full text of the Hebrew/Aramaic and Judeo-Persian Haggadah in Hebrew characters, as well as an English translation. Following a review of the community’s history, sources for study, and related scholarly work conducted to date, the languages used in the Haggadah and their backgrounds are discussed in detail. Analysis of the order of the service allows for comparison of the Kaifeng Jewish community’s recitation of the Passover liturgy, performance of ritual, and consumption of ceremonial food to other communities in the Jewish Diaspora.
The various parts and chapters of the book, including its extensive and meticulous annotations and bibliographical references, provide much fresh and useful material for scholars and readers interested in pre-modern Jewish, Judeo-Persian and Chinese literary traditions and cultures.
David Yeroushalmi, Tel Aviv University, 2015
Fook-kong Wong, Th.D. (1998) in Hebrew Bible, Harvard Divinity School, is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary. He has contributed entries in NIDB, EBR and
written numerous articles in Chinese journals and books.
Dalia Yasharpour, Ph.D. (2005), University of California, Los Angeles, is Lecturer of Persian Language and Literature at Harvard University. She is co-author of the Persian textbook,
Proficiency in Persian (Persian Language Resources, 2007) and has contributed articles to such publications as EJIW and EHLL.
"Much has been written about this community, but this is the first detailed analysis of the Passover Haggadah as it was preserved in Kaifeng [...] This volume should interest not only specialists in liturgy but also students interested in far-flung Jewish communities, researchers interested in the Persian Jewish community, experts on Hebrew, and others as well."
Shaul Stampfer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) in
Religious Studies Review 38.4 2012
Table of contents
Chapter One: Haggadah Manuscripts of the Kaifeng Jews
Chapter Two: The Community's Knowledge of Hebrew as Reflected in their Haggadah
Chapter Three: Hebrew in the Kaifeng Haggadah
Chapter Four: The Judeo-Persian of KH
Chapter Five: Order of the Service
This book will appeal to a general audience interested in Chinese history and Jewish Studies as well as scholars interested in religious diasporas, Iranian history and languages and cross-cultural transactions with China.