The first seder is five weeks from tonight: if you haven't started thinking about your seder this year, now might be a good time to start. To help get you psyched about my favorite festival, as promised, this year I'm releasing version 7.0 of the Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach...and here it is!
It's been two years since the last revision came out, and since then I've been collecting edits, changes, and additions. Changes in this edition include:
new! a meditation on the 3-legged stool of the Jewish year (accompanied by a beautiful new illustration by Alison Kent)
new! a practice of asking 3 questions at the start of the seder, and a meditation which offers 3 answers
new! a chant for hand-washing, written by Rabbi Shefa Gold
new! an alternative reading about the Four Children, written by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
revised! an expanded Hallel section, featuring more psalms in both Hebrew and English
new! an alternative shfoch chamatecha / "pour out Your wrath" reading (this prayer is part of the classical haggadah, but has never before been a part of this one)
new! a meditation before opening the door for Elijah, again by Reb Zalman
revised! an expanded songs section at the back, featuring Ken supiese y entidiense ("Who Knows One" in Ladino), Adir Hu (traditional) and Orah Hi (Rabbi Jill Hammer's feminist adaptation of Adir Hu)
revised! some typos fixed, in Hebrew and in English; also attribution for the Ballad of the Four Sons
new! a beautiful new cover, courtesy of graphic designer Daniel Beck.
As is my custom, I've replaced the old version on my website with this new version, so if you've linked to velveteenrabbi.com/VRHaggadah.pdf, your link will still work -- it'll just point to the new edition instead of the old one.
Praise for the previous edition:
For the second seder this year, I knew that I was going to have a diverse group of guests and was looking for a haggadah that would help make it traditional enough for everyone to experience a ritual that would be recognizable to Jews anywhere, but accessible enough for everyone to connect without difficulty. With your help, it was an amazing experience for all - 6 Jews (secular to Orthodox, Ashkenazi and Sefardi, American and Finnish), 3 Tibetan Buddhists, 1 French Catholic, and 1 German Presbyterian. -- Rabbi Rebecca Joseph
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
The seder went BRILLIANTLY! Folks loved your haggadah (although we did shorten it a bit since there were 50 people and it was a bit mayhem-like.) There were some smiling moments of, "hey, this isn't my grandma's haggadah!!" and then huge grins. -- danah, Massachusetts
My wife and I used your Velveteen Rabbi Haggadah for our Seder last night and had the most incredibly gratifying experience. Everyone loved it. We were all so grateful for the absence of sexism and the persistent call for peace - we had everyone eat an olive when we introduced that feature on the Seder plate. We are so grateful to you for putting this together. -- Clifford, California
Thanks to everyone who's contributed to the haggadah over the years -- and to all of you who use it. I hope this new edition makes your seder even more meaningful and sweet.
Please feel free to share the haggadah widely: link to this post, email the file around, spread the word! And if you do use the haggadah, let me know what you think; I love getting feedback of all kinds.