Promoted Content

It’s About Time: 104 dimensions of time during Passover

Passover: Integrating our past, present, and future – and wondering about a Creator who transcends time itself.

The Author, Bryan Schwartz
The Author, Bryan Schwartz

Today I am releasing a little book. It’s called “About Time: 104 Dimensions of Time During Passover”.  You can read it for free at my website,

Who am I? Why this project? Why now?

Here is the backstory.

Some time ago – last year at Passover? -– I noticed that the text of the Haggadah contains some explicit references to time.

We begin by thanking the Creator for separating the ordinary days from holy days.

We are enjoined to tell the Passover story “as if” we were personally redeemed from that captivity.

The book: About Time: 104 Dimensions of Time During Passover

We experience, in the now, the coming together of families and communities…as the Israelites did on the night of Passover.

We are invited at the end to proclaim, “next year in Jerusalem” – and with the cup of Elijah, think of a Messianic age beyond the present.’

Our movements among the past, present and future might inspire a reflection on the nature of the Eternal One.  According to the Jewish Tradition, the Creator can foresee a course of human events, and can intervene in them, but exists outside of time rather than being carried along by it.

At first, I was aiming to write a single blog piece, here at Times of Israel.  Something like “seven dimensions of time in the Haggadah.”

Yet the more I looked, the more I found.

The Jewish tradition is largely about taking a concrete starting point – like an episode related in the Haggadah or the egg on the Seder plate – and finding more and more ways to think about it.    To start with a specific story, a ritual, a symbol- and add wave after wave of midrash, generation after generation.

The saying is that the Torah has seventy faces.     I did not expect to ever get to seventy dimensions of time in Passover, but here I am so far, with one hundred and four…so far.

Why work on this project now, in the shadow of October 7?

Some Israelis are still held in brutal captivity. The entire state of Israel is under diplomatic and military threat. To be Jewish here in Canada is to be confronted, constantly, unrelentingly, with hostility.    Just about every day since October 7 I have had to deal with verbal macroaggressions at my workplace or, in the surrounding community.

A Jewish home not far from mine had a bullet fired into it.

Jews in North America are increasingly excluded from the ability to compete, as equals, for admission to professions and positions.

I published a book at the end of 2023 called “ReEnlightening Canada”.   It is about how lawmakers here could reaffirm and secure the best political traditions of our society Chapter Five of that book is entitled “The Special Case of the Erasing of Jews from Higher Education.”     After its release, I gave a Jewish local community talk on it called “Antisemitism: Here, There and Everywhere.”

So, who has the energy, who has the time, to divert their attention from the politics of Jewish survival and reflect on the Tradition itself?

Yet an essential element of Jewish continuity is an affirmative embrace of our Tradition, an appreciation of its depth and beauty, and an eagerness to pass on that legacy to the next generation. That is how the Jews survived exiles.

To be clear, the Jewish people cannot and will not survive another conquest of Israel.    Yet we also cannot survive as a people without also experiencing a rededication, in the Israel that survives, in the diminishing but remaining Diasporas, in every generation, to the study and enrichment of the Tradition.

The hope, the dream, is that in every generation, there will be more variations on our ancient themes.   Each new generation of Jews will find a way to draw on their Tradition, keep it alive, and pass it on to their children.

After October 7, everything seems to have a greater sense of urgency.   Pirke Avot says do not say you will study Torah when you have time, because you might never have the time. So, I have worked to finish this version of the “It’s About Time” project in time for this Passover.

I am releasing it as is, here now, with no time for launch events or publicity campaigns.     Please feel free to have a look; I have done my best to make it worthy of your time.

My aspiration would be for the the book, in some form or the other, to become a familiar companion to the Haggadah as we re-experience Passover every year, For some readers, it might help to make everything old seem new again.

My imagined audience would be everyone from novice singers of Ma Nishtana to elders with the wisdom of Ben Zoma.

Well, we can all dream.   In the meantime, I hope that at least by trying, I have been faithful to my Hebrew name…


To read a pre-release of the book, click here

Bryan Schwartz is a playwright, poet, songwriter and author drawing on Jewish themes, liturgy and more. In addition to recently publishing the 2nd edition of Holocaust survivor Philip Weiss’ memoirs and writings titled “Reflections and Essays,” Bryan’s personal works include two Jewish musicals “Consolation: A Musical Meditation” (2018) and newly debuted “Sacred Goof” (2023). Bryan also created and helps deliver an annual summer program at Hebrew University in Israeli Law and Society and has served as a visiting Professor at both Hebrew University and Reichman University.  Bryan P Schwartz holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Queen’s University, Ontario, and Master’s and Doctorate Degree in Law from Yale Law School. As an academic, he has over forty years of experience, including being the inaugural holder of an endowed chair in international business and trade law,  and has won awards for teaching, research and scholarship. He has been a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba since 1981. Bryan serves as counsel for the Pitblado Law firm since 1994. Bryan is an author/contributor of 34 books and has over 300 publications in all. He is the founding and general editor of both the Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law and the Underneath the Golden Boy series, an annual review of legislative developments in Manitoba. Bryan also has extensive practical experience in advising governments – federal,  provincial, territorial and Indigenous –and private clients  in policy development and legislative reform and drafting. Areas in which Bryan has taught, practiced or written extensively, include: constitutional law, international, commercial, labour, trade,  internet and e-commerce law  and alternate dispute resolution and governance. For more information about Bryan’s legal and academic work, please visit:

read more: