I’ve previewed many Haggadot (plural of Haggadah) over time. And I’ve bought quite a few, since I like to pull bits and pieces from several to enrich our Seder – while keeping it short, which is an interesting challenge in itself!
I consider issues like size, cost, layout, visual interest, and clarity.
After many years – through our girls growing up, sons-in-law coming into the family, grandchildren gracing our table – my favorite is still “A Family Haggadah” by Shoshana Silberman.
I like it for its size (not too big), its design (simple), its order of information – and how easy it is to invite people to read a paragraph.
I like its mix of English, Hebrew, and transliteration.
I like how it uses white space and color to guide the eye.
And I like how easy it is for me to amplify with other songs or poetry or other content.
Other Passover haggadah choices
If you live near a bookstore that carries Haggadot, I find that’s the best way to explore the feel, the heft, the appeal.
I enjoy the richness of “A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah,” edited by Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, but it’s too long for our crew.
And I’m totally charmed by the illustrations in “Why On This Night: A Passover Haggadah for Family Celebration” by Rachel Museah and illustrated by Louise August.
There’s also a great deal of additional background information in “The Family Participation Haggadah: A Different Night” by Noam Zion and David Dishon.
You might want to explore the “30 Minute Seder: The Haggadah that Blends Brevity with Tradition” by Robert Kopman.
“Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah,” by Cass & Nellie Foster describes itself as a simple guide to a traditional Seder.
Or go to DipTwice to make your own.
How to prepare for the Seder
Every year, I go through the Haggadah and mark which passages I think will work for the family and guests for that year.
This will vary, according to whether we have more people who enjoy reading Hebrew (so I mark more Hebrew passages) or more little kids (and adults!) who don’t want to sit long (in which case, I stick to the highlights).
I have a whole stash of extra songs and poems that I weave in.
Last year, we added a short, but memorable play. I hope to have that ready to share in more detail next year. Here you can read about the basics of our Passover reenactment.
What Haggadah do you use? Why do you like it?
Next week: Tips to prepare your Seder faster.
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