This brief description only suggests the breadth and depth of information in these volumes. My People’s Haggadah is an encyclopedia on haggadot, to be consulted on any subject connected to the seder, not a haggadah for the seder table. The essays that open Volume 1 cut a wide swath, looking at the haggadah from the Bible through contemporary feminism, exploring the Passover- Easter nexus, surveying the American influence on the haggadah through the various movements and, needless to say, Maxwell House. The appendixes include translations of the seder instructions in the Mishnah and Tosefta, with a facsimile of the section of the 13th century Kaufmann Mishnah that deals with the seder, as well as a translation of a haggadah from the Cairo Geniza that reflects practice in Eretz Yisrael rather than the medieval Babylonian haggadot that are the basis of all contemporary versions. The comprehensive glossary is another excellent feature. Highly readable, thoroughly engaging, useful and informative, My People’s Haggadah is truly a people’s book. Appendixes, bibliography, contributors’ list, glossary, illustrations, index, notes.
Additional Title Featured in Review
Maron L. Waxman, retired editorial director, special projects, at the American Museum of Natural History, was also an editorial director at HarperCollins and Book-of-the-Month Club.