Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two Great Haggados and an Afikoman Present

Please note that I work for the publisher of these two books, so assume bias. But that said, these haggados are must-haves, great commentaries that have become instant classics.

The Jewish Week writes in its current issue (link):

The prime Passover shopping season is short, just a few weeks after Purim, but popular items this year appear to be “The Royal Table,” the new Haggadah by Rabbi Norman Lamm, and the year-old “The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening” by the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, says David Vesely, owner of Manhattan Judaica.
The Royal Table: A Passover Haggadah by R. Norman Lamm (edited by Dr. Joel Wolowelsky) is collected from his sermons throughout the years, adapted for the haggadah and carefully edited and updated. The words are eloquent and the ideas are brilliantly incisive. Significantly, the whole commentary is extremely readable. And the appended essays on Shir HaShirim are fabulous. His defense of Yom Tov Sheini is worth the price of the book. Some excerpts from this haggadah are available on the OU website here: link 1, link 2, link 3. You can buy the book here: link.

The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening by R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik (edited by R. Menachem Genack) is a sustained analysis of the haggadah’s themes on a level of philosophy, midrash and talmudic lomdus. It is a complex work, written in remarkably clear albeit sophisticated English. This book is the real deal and no true fan of Rav Soloveitchik can enjoy Pesach without it. Last year, I wrote a post comparing the different Rav Soloveitchik haggados, explaining why this one is the best: link. You can buy this book here: link.

And as an afikoman present for the person who is difficult to shop for, you can always give a copy of my book, Posts Along the Way, which is guaranteed to break the ice at parties: link.

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