My People’s Passover Haggadah
Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries
In two volumes, this empowering resource for the spiritual revival of our times enables us to find deeper meaning in one of Judaism’s most beloved traditions, the Passover Seder. Rich Haggadah commentary adds layer upon layer of new insight to the age-old celebration of the journey from slavery to freedom—and makes its power accessible to all.
This diverse and exciting Passover resource features the traditional Haggadah Hebrew text with a new translation designed to let you know exactly what the Haggadah says. Introductory essays help you understand the historical roots of Passover, the development of the Haggadah, and how to make sense out of texts and customs that evolved from ancient times.
Framed with beautifully designed Talmud-style pages, My People’s Passover Haggadah features commentaries by scholars from all denominations of Judaism. You are treated to insights by experts in such fields as the Haggadah’s history; its biblical roots; its confrontation with modernity; and its relationship to rabbinic midrash and Jewish law, feminism, Chasidism, theology, and kabbalah.
No other resource provides such a wide-ranging exploration of the Haggadah, a reservoir of inspiration and information for creating meaningful Seders every year.
“The Haggadah is a book not just of the Jewish People, but of ordinary Jewish people. It is a book we all own, handle, store at home, and spill wine upon! Pick up a Siddur, and you have the history of our People writ large; pick up a Haggadah, and you have the same—but also the chronicle of Jewish life writ small: the story of families and friends whose Seders have become their very own local cultural legacy.... My People’s Passover Haggadah is for each and every person looking to enrich their annual experience of Passover in their own unique way.”
Here's everything you ever wanted to know about the Passover haggadah, from multiple perspectives: biblical, historical, theological, legal, rabbinic, mystical, feminist and then some. The editors don't take anything for granted, even defining basic terms like haggadah itself and discussing the translation of barukh, the first word of every blessing. But this comprehensive two-volume handbook is not for the cursory reader or even for light use at the seder table. It opens with a collection of scholarly essays reflecting all denominations of Judaism, then segues into the text, presented cleverly in Talmudic format (in Hebrew with a new English translation) and surrounded by commentaries. Contributors include Lawrence Kushner, Arthur Green, Carole Balin and Neil Gillman as well as Hoffman (My People's Prayer Book) and Arnow (Creating Lively Passover Seders). The plurality of voices lends richness to the reader's understanding of the familiar text, but it can be confusing to follow the flow of the commentaries, which continue beyond the text and even overshadow it. Still, this illuminating resource provides a myriad of in-depth answers to the "why?" in "why is this night different from all others?"