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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Rabbi Shimshon Nadel: My Essential Haggadot

Embroidered matza cover for Pesach

Embroidered matza cover for Pesach
Photo Credit: Sophie Gordon/Flash 90

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Halaylah Yotzi’im M’Mitzrayim (Hotza’at Shiloh) – This Haggadah offers thoughtful comments by Yisrael Eldad, a Galician Zionist leader who fought with the Lechi and Irgun to found the modern State of Israel. This volume is a labor of love by his son, Knesset member Dr. Aryeh Eldad.

Haggadah Shel Pesach Likkutim Nechmadim (Machon Be’er Yehudah) – A nice collection of short insights (“vortIach”) from the Chassidic Masters. I bought this used many years ago, not sure if it is still in print but there a number of collections like this available. You need a little Chassidut at the table, no?

The Carlebach Haggadah (Urim Publications) – Seder Night with Reb Shlomo, featuring many nice stories. It’s mamesh a gevalt. Mamesh the highest. The holiest of the holy. Need I say more?

The Heritage Haggadah (Feldheim) – R. Eliyah Kitov’s commentary translated into English, featuring nice exposition based on Midrash and classical commentaries. A nice starting point when thinking about some of the major themes and motifs of the Exodus.

Minchat Asher Haggadah Shel Pesach – Essays on Jewish Law and Thought in R. Asher Weiss inimitable style. Recommended if you are a lover of ‘lomdus’ and ‘pilpul’.

The Historical Haggada (Torah Lishma Institute) – Highly original scholarly explorations on the Haggadah based on Midrashic and Talmudic literature by my mentor, friend, and collaborator R. Nachman Cohen, Rabbi Emeritus of the YI of N. Riverdale.

Shirat Miriam and Kinor David (Mosad HaRav Kook) – Two brand new volumes on the Haggadah and the Holiday of Pesach by R. Yosef Zvi Rimon of Alon Shevut. A wealth of halakha, hashkafa, history, archeology, and scholarship featuring wonderful pictures, illustrations, etc.

In addition to all of these wonderful Haggadot, I also suggest looking at the following in preparing for the Seder: Classic Midrashim, S’fat Emet on Pesach, Netivot Shalom on Pesach, “Festival of Freedom,” essays by Rav Soloveitchik (Toras HaRav, Ktav), as well as the classic Biblical commentaries on the Exodus story.

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About the Author: Rabbi Shimshon HaKohen Nadel lives and teaches in Jerusalem.


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With thousands of Haggadot in print, it can be overwhelming to decide what to buy and what to use at the Seder. Just like kashering the home for Pesach requires preparation, so too the material for the Seder. And according to the investment is the return. Below are twenty of my favorite Haggadot.

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