A Night to Remember is a necessary, fresh, and wonderful addition to the world of haggadot. Beautifully conceived and designed, it enlists contemporary voices in original ways to illuminate Judaism's oldest and most widely observed rituals. --Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, A Code of Jewish Ethics: You Shall be Holy; and Jewish Literacy.
Pesach is the holiday that most concretely represents and celebrates the essence of Jewish identity. The beautiful Exodus story, the elaborate rituals, the emphasis on family, community, and history -- all these combine on Seder night to provide a powerful, affirmative Jewish experience. Except, of course, when they don't. All too typically, the Seder -- in Israel and America both -- is more or less a Jewish Thanksgiving, a warm get-together with little spiritual or intellectual content. The Haggadah is recited quickly and by rote, with the smells of home cooking acting as an added incentive to speed-read the ancient text, or (forgive the pun) pass over it entirely. In my view, the publication of Zion family s new "A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices" will go a long way to remedy all that. Its contents are so rich, wide-ranging, and pluralistic -- songs and poems, games and quizzes, historical asides and rabbinic interpretations -- that any Jew who is curious about Jewish life cannot fail to be fascinated. Its practical commentary on the Seder service clarifies the evening's rituals. At the same time, passages that elaborate upon the spiritual or mystical significance of such familiar Jewish practices as lighting holiday candles or eating matzah will speak to young globe-trotting Jews who have found other traditions more intriguing than their own. I was especially impressed by the treatment of the Four Sons and Four Daughters, which uses both text and illustration to explore multiple interpretations of this famous parable. Overall, the editors have succeeded admirably in linking the biblical images and philosophical concerns of the Haggadah to modern culture and the exigencies of Jewish life. I've learned something new from every page of A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices. In fact, I plan to use it myself when leading this year's Seder. --Stuart Schoffman, Associate Editor, Jerusalem Report, Senior Fellow Shalom Hartman Institute