With original blessings and readings, gender-inclusive translations, and text-inspired illustrations, Marcia Falk’s Night of Beginnings offers an innovative adaptation of the Passover Haggadah. Her text includes a full retelling of the Exodus — noticeably absent from the traditional Haggadah — which re-centers the Passover story as a Biblical narrative as opposed to rabbinic interpretation. Falk also includes kavanot, designed to assist the reader in elevating Seder rituals through thoughtful practice.
To ease the reader into deeper exploration, the Haggadah is printed with color-coded pages that identify the genre of each text. While following the order of a traditional Seder, Falk’s Haggadah focuses on the themes of concealment, revealment, and self-awareness, which the author suggests are central to self-actualization and freedom.
Night of Beginnings is intended for an adult audience. As we might expect from Marcia Falk, it is a text-centered, literary exploration of Jewish ritual, made accessible in Hebrew, English, and transliteration. It can serve as the sole text for a Seder or as a valuable resource for additional readings. Night of Beginnings encourages readers to break free from the traditional Haggadah text and explore retelling the Passover story in a bold new way.
Jonathan Fass is the Managing Director of Educational Technology and Strategy at The Jewish Education Project of New York.