Passover Haggadah

Overview

With this Passover Haggadah, Elie Wiesel and his friend Mark Podwal invite you to join them for the Passover Seder — the most festive event of the Jewish calendar. Read each year at the Seder table, the Haggadah recounts the miraculous tale of the liberation of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, with a celebration of prayer, ritual, and song. Wiesel and Podwal guide you through the Haggadah and share their understanding and faith in a special illustrated edition that ...

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Passover Haggadah

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Overview

With this Passover Haggadah, Elie Wiesel and his friend Mark Podwal invite you to join them for the Passover Seder — the most festive event of the Jewish calendar. Read each year at the Seder table, the Haggadah recounts the miraculous tale of the liberation of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, with a celebration of prayer, ritual, and song. Wiesel and Podwal guide you through the Haggadah and share their understanding and faith in a special illustrated edition that will be treasured for years to come.
Accompanying the traditional Haggadah text (which appears here in an accessible new translation) are Elie Wiesel's poetic interpretations, reminiscences, and instructive retellings of ancient legends. The Nobel laureate interweaves past and present as the symbolism of the Seder is explored. Wiesel's commentaries may be read aloud in their entirety or selected passages may be read each year to illuminate the timeless message of this beloved book of redemption.
This volume is enhanced by more than fifty original drawings by Mark Podwal, the artist whom Cynthia Ozick has called a "genius of metaphor through line." Podwal's work not only complements the traditional Haggadah text, as well as Wiesel's poetic voice, but also serves as commentary unto itself. The drawings, with their fresh juxtapositions of insight and revelation, are an innovative contribution to the long tradition of Haggadah illustration.

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel graces the miraculous tale of the Haggadah with his inspired, poetic interpretations, reminiscences, and instructive retellings of ancient legends that interweave past and present. The keepsake edition is further enhanced by over 40 of Mark Podwal's ingenious and inventive drawings, filled with fresh juxtapostions of understanding and revelation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Passover Haggadah is a set form of benedictions, prayers, psalms, and commentary recited at the Passover seder. Numerous English-language and English/Hebrew Haggadot are available for home use, including Let My People Go: A Haggadah (Macmillan, 1973), also illustrated by Podwal but no longer in print. So how is this Haggadah different from all others? Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Wiesel's wise and compassionate commentary, poetic interpretations, lively retellings of ancient legends, and personal reminiscences, along with Podwal's powerful line drawings (only seen as sketches), make this a very special edition indeed, and one to be treasured for years to come. Highly recommended.
— Marcia Welsh, Guilford Free Library, CT
George Cohen
Passover, or Pesach, as the festival is called in Hebrew, commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from more than two centuries of Egyptian bondage and recalls their mass exodus from Egypt about 3,300 years ago. The seder is the religious service that includes a festival meal on the first night of Passover (the first two nights in the Diaspora), and the Haggadah (Hebrew for "the telling") is the booklet containing the order of the seder service — blessings and prayers to be recited, recounting the Israelite servitude and the exodus. This new translation — in what is much more than a booklet — is complemented with a preface and comments by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel and 40 drawings by Mark Podwal. English commentaries are by Marion Wiesel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671799960
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 424,452
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elie Wiesel is the author of more than thirty books, including Night, A Beggar in Jerusalem, Twilight, Souls on Fire, Sages and Dreamers, and most recently, The Forgotten. He is the recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.

Biography

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky." Since the publication of this passage in Night, Elie Wiesel has devoted his life to ensuring that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust, and to fostering the hope that they never happen again.

Wiesel was 15 years old when the Nazis invaded his hometown of Sighet, Romania. He and his family were taken to Auschwitz, where his mother and the youngest of his three sisters died. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before Allied forces liberated the camp in 1945. After the war, Wiesel attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked for a while as a journalist. He met the Nobel Prize-winning writer Francois Mauriac, who helped persuade Wiesel to break his private vow never to speak of his experiences in the death camps.

During a long recuperation from a car accident in New York City in 1956, Wiesel decided to make his home in the United States. His memoir Night, which appeared two years later (compressed from an earlier, longer work, And the World Remained Silent), was initially met with skepticism. "The Holocaust was not something people wanted to know about in those days," Wiesel later said in a Time magazine interview.

But eventually the book drew recognition and readers. "A slim volume of terrifying power" (The New York Times), Night remains one of the most widely read works on the Holocaust. It was followed by over 40 more books, including novels, essay collections and plays. Wiesel's writings often explore the paradoxes raised by his memories: he finds it impossible to speak about the Holocaust, yet impossible to remain silent; impossible to believe in God, yet impossible not to believe.

Wiesel has also worked to bring attention to the plight of oppressed people around the world. "When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant," he said in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. "Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe."

Though lauded by many as a crusader for justice, Wiesel has also been criticized for his part in what some see as the commercialization of the Holocaust. In his 2000 memoir And the Sea Is Never Full, Wiesel shares some of his own qualms about fame and politics, but reiterates what he sees as his duty as a survivor and witness:

''The one among us who would survive would testify for all of us. He would speak and demand justice on our behalf; as our spokesman he would make certain that our memory would penetrate that of humanity. He would do nothing else.''

Good To Know

Use of the term "Holocaust" to describe the extermination of six million Jews and millions of other civilians by the Nazis is widely thought to have originated in Night.

Two of Wiesel's subsequent works , Dawn and The Accident, form a kind of trilogy with Night. "These stories live deeply in all that I have written and all that I am ever going to write," the author has said.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel to be chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust in 1978. In 1980, Wiesel became founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures and cofounder of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

Since 1969, Marion Wiesel has translated her husband Elie's books from French into English. They live in New York City and have one son.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Eliezer Wiesel (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 30, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sighet, Romania
    1. Education:
      La Sorbonne

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Kadesh

RECITING THE KIDDUSH

In the Jewish tradition, every ceremony begins with the Kiddush. The wine is sanctified with this ancient ritual to mark the beginning of the festive meal. Jews are reminded of their need for saintliness, and they, in turn, remind the Almighty of His professed eternal love for His people.

Gathered around the candlelit table, we bless God for having released us from Egyptian slavery and sanctified us with His commandments, for offering us occasions to celebrate our holidays, and for allowing us to evoke our glorious past, when three times a year — during Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot — the inhabitants of Judea made pilgrimages to the holy convocations in the holiest of all cities, Jerusalem.

The Kiddush is said over the first of the four cups of wine that one drinks during the Seder. The number is symbolic. Scripture uses four words to describe the liberation from Egypt; they refer to the four exiles the Jewish people will endure in its history, all four ending in redemption. Thus, to drink the four cups of wine is a commandment as important as to eat matzah or bitter herbs.

If the Seder takes place on the Sabbath eve, the Kiddush begins with the text of Genesis describing the end of the sixth day and the arrival of the seventh. We are required to stand as we recite or listen to this Biblical passage. Why? Because in listening to God's word we testify to its truth. And because, according to the Bible, a witness must testify standing.

The first cup of wine is poured. The head of the table, holding the cup in his right hand, recites the following, beginning with the bracketed Biblical passage if the Seder falls on Friday night. It is followed by related commentary, also in brackets.

[Evening came and morning came, the sixth day. The heavens, the earth, and all they contain were completed. On the seventh day, God rested from all the work He had done and everything He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because it was the day on which He rested from all His work of Creation.]

[Thus, all of Creation joined in that rest, as rest, too, became part of Creation. And time was consecrated. The Sabbath is God's gift to humanity, a sanctuary in time. Israel's very survival is linked to it. Israel will maintain the Sabbath and in the end, the Sabbath will maintain Israel.]

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has chosen us among peoples, exalted us among nations, and sanctified us with His laws. You have lovingly given us [Sabbaths for rest] holy days and festivals for joy and rejoicing. This [Sabbath day and this] day of the festival of matzah, the time of our liberation [with love], a holy convocation in memory of our leaving Egypt. For You have chosen us and sanctified us among all peoples by giving us [the Sabbath and] holy days [in love and favor] as a joyous inheritance. Blessed are You, Lord, who sanctifies [the Sabbath and] Israel and the seasons.

On Saturday night the following prayer is added to acknowledge the conclusion of the Sabbath:

[Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the light of fire.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who distinguishes between the sacred and the mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and other nations, between the seventh day of rest and the six days of toil. You have distinguished between the sanctity of the Sabbath and the sanctity of a festival, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six days of work. You have distinguished and sanctified Israel with Your own holiness. Blessed are You, Lord, our God, who distinguishes between Holy and Holy.]

As always on festive occasions, one is duty bound to recite the following prayer:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and allowed us to reach this season.

All drink the first cup of wine while reclining.

Copyright © 1993 by Elirion Associates, Inc., and Mark Podwal

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Table of Contents

Contents

The Seder

KADESH Reciting the Kiddush

U'RECHATZ Washing of the hands

KARPAS Blessing for the green vegetable

YACHATZ Breaking of the middle matzah

MAGGID Telling the story

RACHTZAH Washing the hands before the meal

MOTZI MATZAH Prayer for the beginning of the meal and blessing for the matzah

MAROR Blessing for the bitter herbs

KORECH Hillel's sandwich

SHULCHAN ORECH The meal

TZAFUN The afikoman

BARECH Saying grace

HALLEL Psalms of praise

NIRTZAH Conclusion of the service

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

Kadesh

RECITING THE KIDDUSH

In the Jewish tradition, every ceremony begins with the Kiddush. The wine is sanctified with this ancient ritual to mark the beginning of the festive meal. Jews are reminded of their need for saintliness, and they, in turn, remind the Almighty of His professed eternal love for His people.

Gathered around the candlelit table, we bless God for having released us from Egyptian slavery and sanctified us with His commandments, for offering us occasions to celebrate our holidays, and for allowing us to evoke our glorious past, when three times a year -- during Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot -- the inhabitants of Judea made pilgrimages to the holy convocations in the holiest of all cities, Jerusalem.

The Kiddush is said over the first of the four cups of wine that one drinks during the Seder. The number is symbolic. Scripture uses four words to describe the liberation from Egypt; they refer to the four exiles the Jewish people will endure in its history, all four ending in redemption. Thus, to drink the four cups of wine is a commandment as important as to eat matzah or bitter herbs.

If the Seder takes place on the Sabbath eve, the Kiddush begins with the text of Genesis describing the end of the sixth day and the arrival of the seventh. We are required to stand as we recite or listen to this Biblical passage. Why? Because in listening to God's word we testify to its truth. And because, according to the Bible, a witness must testify standing.

The first cup of wine is poured. The head of the table, holding the cup in his right hand, recites the following, beginning with the bracketed Biblical passageif the Seder falls on Friday night. It is followed by related commentary, also in brackets.

[Evening came and morning came, the sixth day. The heavens, the earth, and all they contain were completed. On the seventh day, God rested from all the work He had done and everything He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because it was the day on which He rested from all His work of Creation.]

[Thus, all of Creation joined in that rest, as rest, too, became part of Creation. And time was consecrated. The Sabbath is God's gift to humanity, a sanctuary in time. Israel's very survival is linked to it. Israel will maintain the Sabbath and in the end, the Sabbath will maintain Israel.]

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has chosen us among peoples, exalted us among nations, and sanctified us with His laws. You have lovingly given us [Sabbaths for rest] holy days and festivals for joy and rejoicing. This [Sabbath day and this] day of the festival of matzah, the time of our liberation [with love], a holy convocation in memory of our leaving Egypt. For You have chosen us and sanctified us among all peoples by giving us [the Sabbath and] holy days [in love and favor] as a joyous inheritance. Blessed are You, Lord, who sanctifies [the Sabbath and] Israel and the seasons.

On Saturday night the following prayer is added to acknowledge the conclusion of the Sabbath:

[Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the light of fire.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who distinguishes between the sacred and the mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and other nations, between the seventh day of rest and the six days of toil. You have distinguished between the sanctity of the Sabbath and the sanctity of a festival, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six days of work. You have distinguished and sanctified Israel with Your own holiness. Blessed are You, Lord, our God, who distinguishes between Holy and Holy.]

As always on festive occasions, one is duty bound to recite the following prayer:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and allowed us to reach this season.

All drink the first cup of wine while reclining.

Copyright © 1993 by Elirion Associates, Inc., and Mark Podwal

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