Jew­ish Text

The Passover Hag­gadah: An Ancient Sto­ry for Mod­ern Times

Tablet Mag­a­zine, Shai Azoulay (illus.)

  • Review
By – March 30, 2020

The sub­ti­tle describes this Hag­gadah per­fect­ly. It is the most tra­di­tion­al of the Hag­gadot reviewed here — the com­plete Hebrew text, both trans­lat­ed and translit­er­at­ed — with a thought­ful and wide-rang­ing intro­duc­tion and three reflec­tive essays. And all this served up with the Tablet edge — tra­di­tion laced with ques­tion­ing, sly humor, and an ultra-con­tem­po­rary sen­si­bil­i­ty. A good exam­ple is the seder plate, illus­trat­ed with a clas­sic set­ting accom­pa­nied by a bar along the bot­tom of the page sug­gest­ing six pos­si­ble addi­tions rep­re­sent­ing every­thing from the just-about- tra­di­tion­al orange to a pine cone for crim­i­nal jus­tice reform. There are four daugh­ters to com­ple­ment the four sons (three of whom are old enough to sport a mus­tache). If a leader finds the text lag­ging a lit­tle, there are occa­sion­al alerts on how to skip ahead or try a diversion.

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.

Discussion Questions