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My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries

My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries

by David Arnow (Contribution by), Carole Balin (Contribution by), Marc Zvi Brettler (Contribution by), Neil Gillman (Contribution by), Alyssa Gray (Contribution by)

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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


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.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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?" (Apr.)

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Library Journal

The Haggadah is the printed guide to the Passover seder, the Jewish ritual feast held on the first night of Passover. Hundreds of editions of the Haggadah have been published, and dozens of them are available in English. What makes this Haggadah (the text of which is by E.D. Goldschmidt, newly translated by Hoffman) unique is its wealth and diversity of commentaries by some dozen scholars and practicing rabbis on pertinent aspects of Jewish law and history, problems of translation, biblical references, theological aspects, and traditional, medieval, Hasidic, contemporary, and feminist interpretations. Most of these contributors also write introductory essays on such topics as the history and meaning of the Passover celebration, the relation of the American seder to the changing Jewish identity, and Christianity and the seder. Many other books offer songs, games, stories, and recipes to enrich the Passover experience, but this two-volume work will provide Jewish families and groups with a richer understanding of this major holiday, its observance, and its meaning for their lives. Highly recommended for public, academic, and synagog libraries. (Finalized illustrations not seen.)
—Marcia Welsh

Product Details

Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
My People's Passover Haggadah Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

David Arnow, PhD, a psychologist by training, is widely recognized for his innovative work to make the Passover Seder a truly exciting encounter each year with Judaism's most central ideas. He has been deeply involved with many organizations in the American Jewish community and Israel and is a respected lecturer, writer and scholar of the Passover Haggadah. He is author of Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities and coeditor of the two-volume My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD (both Jewish Lights).

Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler is the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University. He contributed to all volumes of the My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series (winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and to My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries; Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef; All These Vows—Kol Nidre; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights). He is coeditor of The Jewish Annotated New Testament and The Jewish Study Bible, which won the National Jewish Book Award; coauthor of The Bible and the Believer and author of How to Read the Jewish Bible, among other books and articles. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio's Fresh Air by Terry Gross.

Neil Gillman, rabbi and PhD, is professor of Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he has served as chair of the Department of Jewish Philosophy and dean of the Rabbinical School. He is author of Believing and Its Tensions: A Personal Conversation about God, Torah, Suffering and Death in Jewish Thought; The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"; The Way Into Encountering God in Judaism; The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History and Everyday Life (all Jewish Lights) and Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

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