Monday, September 3, 2012

The four haggadot

Our tradition speaks of four types of haggadot: one which is wise, one which is wicked, one which is simple, and one which does not even know how to ask a question.

The wise haggadah, what are its features? It has commentary and encourages discussion. It is easy to read and eager to expand our understanding. This haggadah should be embraced as a study partner and celebrated as a resource both for the wise child and for the well-learned seder.

The wicked haggadah, what are its features? It alienates the seder participants, defies understanding, and encourages rifts in the community. This haggadah should be studied but never used.

The simple haggadah, what are its features? It allows us to focus on the most important components of the seder, and introduces new participants to the joy of celebrating Passover. This haggadah should be used but never studied.

As for the haggadah which does not even know how to ask a question? This is the haggadah which phrases its commentary in absolutist terms, which encourages compliance over discussion, and which therefore cannot expand our understanding. This haggadah should be neither studied nor used.

2 comments:

ruthling said...

oh, that's cute and effective!

Jed said...

Hee! Made me laugh.