Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?: The Four Questions around the World by Ilana Kurshan with an introduction by Joseph Telushkin.
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.
Ilana Kurshan's essays and reviews have appeared in Lilith, The Forward, and the World Jewish Digest, among other publications. She works for a literary agency and studies Talmud in Jerusalem, where she lives.
March 4, 2008