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The Bronfman Haggadah

Monday, March 25, 2013

Philanthropist and Jewish leader Edgar Bronfman and illustrator Jan Aronson discuss The Bronfman Haggadah, their new illustrated contemporary Haggadah for the Passover Seder. The Haggadah teaches people of all ages about Judaism with a fresh perspective while helping to define Passover for everyone at the Seder table. Bronfman weaves together readings from the 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglas to poet Marge Piercy, and Aronson created watercolor paintings specially for the book.

From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.
Published by Rizzoli
From The Bronfman Haggadah, by Edgar Bronfman, illustrated by Jan Aronson.

Guests:

Jan Aronson and Edgar Bronfman
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Comments [15]

Jennifer Korn from New York

My family really enjoyed this haggadah. This is one of my favorite haggadah's along with "Pop Haggadah"

Feb. 15 2014 02:33 PM
Java Jew from California

The Maxwell House Haggadah was the result of the coffee brand's ad agency seeking out a friendly rabbi in order to reclassify coffee beans as a berry not a bean so as to make it acceptable for Passover.

Mar. 27 2013 05:52 PM
bill markowitz from lefferts garden, brooklyn

Um, can WNYC either 1. Represent other religions NEARLY a fraction as much as Judaism, or 2. Keep religion away from the programming all together? I mean, keep it fair. Right now, there are two front page stories about Jewish interest, which happens a lot. Just so every one knows, there are many New Yorkers - and people around the world - who aren't Jewish. It's ok to represent those people, too.

Mar. 26 2013 10:26 AM

We are blessed with a wealth of commentary on the Haggadah from the traditional, classic sources; the greatest sages and scholars of the Jewish people. These are translated and incorporated into many Haggadahs that are available today-- in English and other languages.

"jgarbuz" wrote (12:50 p.m.):
"In Judaism, you can question anything, but you cannot change one word of the Torah. Not one jot, nor one tittle."

This is absolutely true.

The Torah, however, includes not only the /written/ Torah ("Tanach"; Hebrew Bible; "Old Testament") but also the /oral/ Torah. The oral component of the Torah was given to Moses (Moshe Rabeinu) as Sinai, along with the written, and transmitted orally through the generations, until it was finally written down in the form of the Mishnah, and later the Gemorah, which, together, form the Talmud.

The Oral Torah is what tells us, for example, that "An eye for an eye" is not to be taken literally but rather to the /monetary/ compensation that one who harms another is required to pay to their victim.

The Oral tradition, as recorded in the Talmud, is also what tells us that although G-d gave the Land of Israel to the Jews as their eternal homeland, the same G-d exiled us from it and prohibited us from re-establishing sovereignty over it before we will be redeemed by the Messiah.

These are but two examples of hundreds, if not thousands.

"But as usual, of course, rich liberals will do what they will."

True but not just "liberals"...

The /de-facto/ "Golden Rule", alas, is: He who has the gold, makes the rules...

A Yiddish saying goes, "Ver vos hot di meah, hot der deiah"

"He who has the 'hundred', has the say"

Mar. 25 2013 02:04 PM
Barbara Lifton from New York CIty

The Biblical stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus and conquest of Canaan, etc. commonly taken for granted as true, are rather, the creative expressions of a powerful religious reform movement that flourished in the 8th Century B.C., in the Kingdom of Judah. There is no verifiable, valid and contemporaneous archeological record showing irrefutably that any of these events took place. These myths, based on historical kernels of stories passed down verbally, primarily reflect the ideology and world view of the writers.(Finklestein and Silberman, The Bible Unearthed, (2002.) Attempting to credit these events to the intervention of an ancient supernatural Deity, is ludicrous.
For any Jew currently repeating these myths as fact, to insist that they actually happened, is to distort the importance of the remarkable history of the Hebrew clans arising in the mountains of Canaan, which became in modern times, a People devoted to family, freedom and social justice. It is this history of the Jews that should be celebrated tonight.

Mar. 25 2013 01:51 PM
sara from nyc

Well, guess we're lucky that it was a Moses and not an Edgar, 3000 years ago. Chronically cranky Edgar would've pouted and complained about the length of the trip required to obtain the laws. Though, I suppose he might've hired someone...

Our family always used the lightweight, easy to handle Maxwell House Haggadah. We managed to have very enjoyable seders - doing our best with the Hebrew! - at which we were able to draw our own historical and contemporary parallels with this very old story, oftentimes changing as we did, year after year after year.

Mar. 25 2013 01:27 PM
Oona Shanley from Manhattan

I'm not Jewish but I'm buying the book because it seems to eliminate all the smoting which always seemed to try & remember persecution & not focus on creating a loving culture. I'm going to read it to a learning disabled child who has 1 Jewish parent & try to give her the best memory of the Passover she can retain.

Mar. 25 2013 01:24 PM
rose from NJ

What a painful interview. Edgar Bronfman was almost incoherent. I wanted to listen to be educated, but that did not happen. I had to stop listening.

Mar. 25 2013 01:18 PM
phyllis rosenzweig from manhattan east side

pecaoor Moses - all he did was provoke the pharoah to let his people go - and then he led them out - and then he received the 10 commandments from G-d, TWICE! Dayenu! that would have been enough, don't you think? And his sister Miriam enabled the jews to survive their forty year hiatus in the desert.because she divined the water. Does Bronfman remark about her? I am offended that a man who does not identify as a Jew, just a rich NY philanthropist, writes a book about anything religiously Jewish. One possible reason for the 40 years was the jews needed to be rid of the slavery mentality and raise up a new generation.
Another reason they were forty yeears in the desert is because Moses would not ask directions ( an old joke)

Mar. 25 2013 01:12 PM
Amanda from Brooklyn

Wow, this guy seems to know very little about Judaism for someone who has written a Haggadah! Can't even answer a simple question about Moses!

Mar. 25 2013 01:01 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

My guess is, that Moses was left out because it's not about HIM. He's not a god nor object of veneration. The story is how God liberated an oppressed people from bondage, and not a story about a guy named Moses. God could have picked anybody for the job. Since the story of Moses is told in the Torah at length, no need his personal history over again.

Mar. 25 2013 12:54 PM
RJ from prospect hts

There is a Yiddishkeit tradition of the Haggadah that follows a progressive tradition, a great deal of which came from the Lower East Side, and makes a conscious connection between traditional Haggadah/Passover traditions and contemporary morals; it brought in the Holocaust in those years and brings in many contemporary disasters as the participants choose. It is a shared book that gives all participants the opportunity to speak extemporaneously.

Mar. 25 2013 12:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Actually, the 1 question isn't *why* is this night different from all other nights, it's *how* is this nignt different from all other nights (literally, what distinguishes this night from all others). Then there are 4 answers--4 ways this night is different--& an explanation is given for each difference.

Mar. 25 2013 12:53 PM
john from office

jgarbuz, I agree. The Jewish people exist because of traditions, kept up for thousands of years. This guy is dangerous. and he is a non believer!

Mar. 25 2013 12:53 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

In Judaism, you can question anything, but you cannot change one word of the Torah. Not one jot, nor one tittle.
But as usual, of course, rich liberals will do what they will.

Mar. 25 2013 12:50 PM

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