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Winner Best Book in Religion 2016

"A Must Have Haggada"

--Hadassah Magazine


The New World Haggadah

Ilan Stavans

with art by

Gloria Abella Ballen

The story of Moses and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt is a story of resilience and the need for freedom and homeland. This makes the Passover story endlessly resonant. The biblical Moses is a greater than life mythical figure. The depiction we get of him is of an imperfect, reluctant leader who kills an Egyptian in his youth and runs away soon after, who is miserable at public speaking and suffers from an irate temperament, and who, more than anything, is ambivalent about his relationship with the Divine. Yet, in spite of himself, he frees the Israelites from slavery, guides them out of Egypt, and takes them through an odyssey in the desert that tests them at every turn and ultimately defines them as a nation. No wonder the heroic achievement of Moses and the Israelites has been celebrated in song and story throughout history.

The purpose of The New World Haggadah is to make Moses emblematic of today’s complex world.
What makes this a new Haggadah is also its multicultural—and multilingual—qualities. We have reconfigured the liturgy to be more embracing, inserting voices from various lands, all seeking freedom through renewal.
Like Moses, each of us is a symbol because others see themselves reflected in us. Others live their lives through ours. Passover is about realizing that we are at once imprisoned in our moment in time and space and simultaneously free to wander to other times and places through the power of our imagination. This Passover story transports us to a time long ago when great men and women and great events led a people to freedom.

The story of Exodus is a human story. It is universal. The dream is that the diversity in this narrative will make all of us feel that it is ours. The act of repeating the Exodus story is liberating and gaining freedom is a continuous process. We might not be fully free, but each of us is in the process of breaking from our slavery, our "Egypt".

Winner Best Book in Religion 2016

New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards

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Ready for an Unforgetable Passover Experience


ISBN: 9781935604440. 88 pages. $18.00

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