5: Excerpt, the Passover Haggadah.
In “A Seder in the Taiga,” Mash discusses the women’s matzah as a Siberian “bread of affliction.” This is a reference to a declaration in the Passover Haggadah, recited at the start of the magid, or retelling, section.
Suggested Activity: Ask your students to consider the idea of “bread of affliction” in the context of Mash’s story. What are the resonances between the women’s situation in the gulag and the Exodus story they are retelling? Ask your class to divide in half for a debate—one side argues that the tiny, misshapen matzahs are not authentic matzahs, and the other side argues that the matzahs are more authentic because they were produced at a time of suffering.
Source: Pesach Haggadah, Magid, Ha Lachma Anya, source sheet compiled on Sefaria, https://www.sefaria.org/Pesach_Haggadah%2C_Magid%2C_Ha_Lachma_Anya.3?lang=bi&with=Versions&lang2=en, accessed Jul. 17 2020.