Fruits of Freedom

Fruits of Freedom : The Torah Flora Hagadah

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This extraordinary Hagadah will enrich and restore meaning to any seder. Fruits of Freedom reveals the forgotten roots of the seder in the history of Jewish food and agriculture. The author's broad scholarship enables him to bring new vigor and excitement to this ancient ritual with the respectful use of science and history. Much of this information has never been published before. Readers will learn how the Ten Plagues discredited the Egyptian sun god Ra and his daughter, the beer goddess Hathor. Three versions of the seder plate reflect three reasons for the seder; the dozens of charoset recipes express seven meanings of the Exodus. Illustrations of animals in old Hagadot express one feeling that could not be revealed publicly in medieval Spain, and another in sixteenth-century Germany. Surprising wisdom appears in every detail from the choice of vegetables for karpas and maror to the roasting of the Paschal lamb and the custom of leaning to the left. What Does it Mean? sidebars explore customs with multiple meanings. Over 90 lavish award-winning and original photographs enliven and clarify the beautifully designed text.

Readers of all religious inclinations, foodies, and environmentalists will find much to celebrate and learn from in this major new publication. Dr. Greenberg's extensive experience as an agricultural scientist and educator animates an entertaining and informative commentary that makes science and Torah scholarship vivid and understandable to all. Learned readers and those who would like to delve deeper will appreciate the extensive footnotes and appendices that lead to the original sources without cluttering the commentary. Prominent rabbis, food historians, and biblical ethnobotanists have enthusiastically approved Fruits of Freedom. Readers who have visited Dr. Greenberg's Web site,, will recognize his clear, often humorous explanations that are respectful of both religious tradition and the findings of science.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 148 pages
  • 215 x 279 x 7.62mm | 548g
  • Pennsauken, United States
  • English
  • 1098357752
  • 9781098357757
  • 863,252

About Jon Greenberg

Dr. Jon Greenberg is one of the very few living biblical and talmudic ethnobotanists. He is often consulted by rabbis and other scholars for his broad knowledge of this area. Dr. Greenberg received his bachelor's degree with honors in biology from Brown University and his master's and doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University. He has also studied with Rabbi Chaim Brovender at Israel's Yeshivat Hamivtar and conducted research on corn, alfalfa, and soybeans at Cornell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Cancer Research. Since 1989, he has been a science teacher and educational consultant. Dr. Greenberg was Senior Editor of science textbooks at Prentice Hall Publishing Co. Previously on the faculty of Yeshivas Ohr Yosef, the School of Education at Indiana University, and the University of Phoenix, he has taught at the Heschel School since 2008. He is a frequent speaker at synagogues, schools, and botanical gardens. Dr. Greenberg is the author of and can be contacted at
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