מאי המנתשן / Why hamantaschen?
This week's portion: vessel

Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach!

2015 Edited to add: you can always find the most up-to-date version of the VR Haggadah by going to velveteenrabbi.com and clicking through to the haggadah page.

 

Purim sameach! I hope everyone's having a marvelous Purim.

Last night was the full moon of Adar II. From here, the moon will wane...and wax...and before we know it, the full moon of Nissan will be upon us, which means Pesach! Which means it's time for me to joyously announce:

 

2015 Edited to add: you can always find the most up-to-date version of the VR Haggadah by going to velveteenrabbi.com and clicking through to the haggadah page.

Praise for the haggadah:

  • I made my first Passover tonight. I frantically searched the internet over the last couple of days to find an alternative haggadah which would speak to my heart and soul.  I found yours... Your words and vision made this Passover the most meaningful and enriching I've had so far. -- Robin, New York

  • I used your haggadah this year and wanted to let you know how meaningful it was. It struck the right chord of being feminist without excluding men. Rather it brought the importance of women into the ceremony in a lovely balanced way. -- Merlinda, Nova Scotia

  • I used your haggadah as my foundation for leading the second seder for my family... They told me afterwards it was the most meaningful seder they had ever attended -- actually they told me it was the FIRST meaningful seder they had ever attended. -- Rhonda, Massachusetts

  • Your haggadah may be THE best haggadah I have seen in a very long time.  It has all the social justice things in it that I want to be there, but it is not sententious, it is joyous in spirit, the illustrations are wonderful, ditto the poems. -- Alicia, New Jersey


It's been two years since I last released a new version of my haggadah, and I'm really happy with how the text has evolved. You'll still find great poetry here, and a creative and heartfelt set of responses to the holiday and its traditions; that's as true now as it was seven years ago when this haggadah first took form.

But this year you'll also find some new strengths. I've revamped the Hebrew text, which is both more complete and more readable (now, with vowels!) In addition to adding contemporary and creative readings and poems, I've also folded back in some of the traditional texts which were absent from former versions.(Though there still isn't a full traditional birkat ha-mazon in these pages; if you want one, I can point you to a good one online here.) One way or another I hope the haggadah enriches your Pesach.

My deepest thanks are due to everyone who helped midwife this year's version of the haggadah into being, most especially Natalie d'Arbeloff for this year's cover image and R' Megan Doherty for proofreading; any remaining errors are mine alone. Thanks, too, to the artists who donated artwork two years ago, whose work still graces these pages.

And thanks to all of you who've used the haggadah over the years and have sent me emails or comments to tell me what worked, what didn't, and what resonated most for you. I appreciate all of you more than you know.

 

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