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A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices (Hebrew -English) (English and Hebrew Edition) Paperback – February 16, 2007

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A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices (Hebrew -English) (English and Hebrew Edition) + A Different Night, The Family Participation Haggadah + The Leader's Guide to The Family Participation Haggadah "A Different Night"
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Editorial Reviews


Noam Zion and now his children are becoming a cottage industry for do-it-yourself Jewish holidays and rituals. Noam and his son Mishael Zion offer a Haggadah with so many sources, stories, quotes, illustrations, poetry, and commentary. This guarantees a night of lively exchanges and Jewish and contemporary meaning. A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices is yet another example of the Jewish Renaissance and ritual creativity. It shows the power of cultural dialogue between Israel and America. The beauty of this Haggadah is that you can use it as the family Haggadah, or as an incredibly rich resource to enhance the traditional or modern Haggadot of your choice. In any event, serious Seder leaders from all the denominations will sit down with A Night to Remember days before the Seder to pick and choose what to read and what to do this night, as different than last Seder. I warmly recommend this publication. Not only is it a welcome addition to any Jewish table and library, it is an invaluable tool for promoting Jewish meaning and spirit in an age where we need this multi-vocal, richly textured, inspiring Haggadah. --Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Hebrew Union College Jerusalem Campus, Director of Year in Israel program and Educational Initiatives

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

About the Author

The authors are a father and son team who have shared 26 seders. Noam, an American Jew, and Mishael, an Israeli, both study and teach at the Shalom Hartman Institute. This haggadah combines the experience of Mishael's bestselling Israeli haggadah, Halaila Hazeh (2004) and Noam's classic A Different Night (1997) that have made seders more participatory for hundreds of thousands.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Zion Holiday Publications (February 16, 2007)
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • ISBN-10: 0966474066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966474060
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Myron Hirsch on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
For anyone seeking a modern voice speaking towards the classical text, this haggadah is a gem. "A Night to Remember" was based on the all-Hebrew "Ha'lailah Ha'zeh," the authors' efforts to provide a work for contemporary Israelis. The best elements of that volume have been transferred into "A Night To Remember," including the creative illustrations from Michael Kichka, whose pictures provide both a sense of whimsy and substance. Illustrations vary from the humorous (the ox in "Chad Gad Ya" is a man in a Chicago Bulls shirt and cap) to of political caricatures, e.g. Ben-Gurion. The humor and warmth in the illustrations adds to the inviting nature of the book, which is further strengthened by a methodical layout and inviting directions.

This Haggadah provides contemporary commentaries and readings from a stunning array of sources; Rabbis Telushkin and Potok are nestled alongside authors Milan Kundera and Phillip Roth. Primo Levi's words follow Golda Meir's. Even those well versed in the sources of the Haggadah will find items of interest, with thoughts from kibbutzniks and refusniks. There is the occasional comment from the "touchy-feely" department, but some people need that in a seder, and they are provided for here.

The entire Hebrew text of the classical Ashkenazi Haggadah is provided, although not every word is translated into English. The commentaries and instructions do deviate from "black hat" Orthodoxy from time to time, but not in any way that even remotely effects the essential content of the seder. Only those rigidly ultra-Orthodox in their thinking should avoid this book. The illustration "The four daughters," with its Talmud carrying wise daughter, is enough to give such folks a fit of apoplexy- and that's just one picture.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Libby Cone on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this haggadah to me and I eagerly ordered ten copies. My husband is inviting his pastor and the pastor's family to the seder. I began to look through the pages, and found myself thinking "uh-oh." If I just invited my own lefty friends it would be fine, but an illustration showing a woman demonstrating for abortion rights is unsettling. I certainly support abortion rights, but I don't know if I want to have an argument about it at the seder table. An illustration portraying the Jews' various enemies shows an awful lot of people carrying crosses. While I have no argument with the fact that many Christians persecuted Jews, I wonder if this illustration would lead to meaningful discussion, or just make Gentile guests uncomfortable. I guess what bothers me the most is an illustration at the end of the book that shows a red-headed dude with sunglasses (everyone has sunglasses, and s***-eating grins) entering the gates of Jerusalem, riding a white donkey and flashing a peace sign. I think he is supposed to represent the Messiah. As a progressive Jew, I don't hold that the Messiah is an actual human being, but rather that it is up to us to usher in a Messianic age. The illustration invites comparisons to Jesus, which is fine by me, but it's a little out of my pay grade to argue with a pastor. There is a fine line between insult and appeasement; this haggadah is certainly going to be discussed, but it may not be employed!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Cooperman on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
My disclosure first: I have attended a service where Noam Zion spoke, as well as attended a workshop with him. Sadly, it wasn't very well-attended, but happily, I could ask everything I wanted and felt like I got a private one-on-one discussion with a really dedicated guy who wrote a terrific book.

This Haggadah is definitely different from any of my 15 others. (I like Haggadot!) I have three kids (12, 10, 7) who are entertained by very different parts of the book. My oldest likes the facts and reads the whole book start to finish during the seder. My middle is a cartoon fan, so she enjoys the line drawings and funny situations depicted in them. My youngest looks through the pictures and plays a sort of "Where's Waldo" game in his head.

We used this Haggadah last year and had so much fun with it that the kids requested it again this year. It doesn't lack for liturgy, but it does make the liturgy fun. And lest we forget, the seder is SUPPOSED to change from year to year, because we as Jews are required to tell the story AS THOUGH WE WERE GOING THROUGH THE JOURNEY OURSELVES!!! The other Haggadot I have are lovely, but have nothing to do with my life.

One of the most helpful parts of the book is the separate included chart describing the various "kinds" of seders you are planning, and therefore which pages of the book would be the most important for you. For instance, if you have young kids, follow this track through the seder. If you have teenagers, do this. No kids at your table? Do this! (And don't forget that if the youngest at your table is 40, he/she needn't be saddled with the Ma Nishtanah each and every year. Don't torture the poor person!)

I have been blessed to speak with Mr. Zion himself, or I might have passed over this Haggadah. (Pun intended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joseph S, on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I try, each year, to find some new insight, comment, or voice to make our Seder not just a repetition of the traditional text. This year, this was my new source and it's a real winner. It has the entire traditional text plus explanations of things I didn't know - and I've read a lot - plus information on customs from other communities, and, of course as advertised, comments about every subject touched on in the Haggadah from many sources ranging from Mark Twain to Rabbi Joseph Solevechik to fascinating modern voices you might not know but will appreciate. Filled with lighthearted illustrations that fit perfectly. You COULD use that at the seder, but I recommend spending the time to read it first and selecting some of its content for your seder. Should be a good source for several years.
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