A New Haggadah to Get Excited About

This entry was posted in Holidays, Texts on by .

Guess what? The Maxwell House Haggadah is being reissued this year, and it’s new and improved…but let’s face it, probably still solidly mediocre.

If you’re looking to add something new to your Haggadah collection this year, I recommend the brand new JPS haggadah, Go Forth and Learn: A Passover Haggadah written by Rabbi David Silver with Rachel Furst.

There’s two parts to this Haggadah–the traditional Haggadah text with commentary, and then a section of essays and longer commentaries on the Exodus story. The regular Haggadah part is good, but I didn’t find it as fun and interesting as the longer commentaries. One of my pet peeves about Passover is that we all make a big deal about how we’re going to tell the story of the Exodus, and then we end up talking about staying up all night, and the korban pesach and I just want to poke my eyes out with the shank bone. Where is the actual story of living in Egypt and then leaving? It’s here in Rabbi Silber’s book. He devotes a large chunk of the text to the stories that lead to the Jews ending up in Egypt, including Abraham and Hagar (usually not big players in Pesach celebrations) and an equally large chunk to meditations on what the Exodus meant for a people. I also really enjoyed the chapter that examined the creation themes in the ten plagues.

I don’t think I’d buy this Haggadah to give to everyone at my seder, but it’s a nice one to have as an added resource at the seder, with lots of interesting tidbits to add to the discussion.

And I say all this as someone who really hates Pesach and (usually) seders.

Posted on March 25, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

2 thoughts on “A New Haggadah to Get Excited About

  1. Cheryl Owings

    How sad that you write “as someone who really hates Pesach and (usually) seders.” Perhaps something is lacking in your understanding and/or participation in your wonderful heritage. This might be something for you to pursue to try to understand why this is so.

  2. treyfe

    Um, Cheryl have you been to many seders lately? I love them, but I think this is definitely a case where participation, especially in the minutiae of the holiday does not make one grow fonder. For appreciating them, I recommend actually ignoring one’s heritage, then they seem exotic and fun, the one time my lefty family really enjoyed being Jewish (right up until when we started eating) flat-ish Hometz. And in general telling a Jew that they don’t like one of our customs because “they must be not understanding/ not fully participating/ doing it wrong” should definitely be treyfe. Particularly rich on the blog of My Jewish Learning.

Comments are closed.