One of the hot new offerings in the Haggada market this year is the New American Haggadah by novelists Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander. It features a new translation by Englander as well as side material by "major Jewish writers and thinkers Jeffrey Goldberg, Lemony Snicket, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Nathaniel Deutsch."

I've heard and read excerpts from the translation, and they've seemed, to my mind, quite fitting. For example, from the top review on Amazon:

While most haggadot translate blessings as "Blessed (Praised) art Thou, O Lord Our God, King of the Universe...", Englander writes "You are blessed, Lord God-of-Us, King of the Cosmos..." His translations are unique and will wake the reader up, and make them really think about what they are reciting. He uses "God of us" instead of "our God" because it's not "our God" like "our cellphone" or "our Lexus" that we own, rather it is "the God over us."

One thing that intrigues me about this project is that it's clearly a very thoughtful and tradition-infused take, coming from people whose publicly-expressed views on Judaism are not those dictated by Tradition. This leads me to wonder:

  • Are there any public reviews out from a traditionalist ("frum") point of view, especially from recognized rabbinic authorities?

  • If you've read this Haggada, can you identify any points on which it conflicts unambiguously with Tradition, either in matters of law or of lore (Halacha or Aggada)?

  • What sort of halachic issues did you have in mind? It would help to clarify your concerns. For instance, are there halachic issues with the gender-neutral Maxwell House Hagadah?
    – Curiouser
    Mar 23, 2012 at 1:15
  • @Curiouser, without having read this edition yet, I don't know what there is to be concerned about, other than its atypical origins. It's quite possible that there are no issues whatsoever with its content, which someone who's read it could potentially attest to.
    – Isaac Moses
    Mar 23, 2012 at 1:47
  • @Curiouser, on further consideration, I've removed that bullet. I may follow on with a new question along those lines if the first two bullets turn up anything interesting.
    – Isaac Moses
    Mar 25, 2012 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


Leon Wieseltier review the hagadah here:


  • 1
    He finds some of the translations clunky, and occasionally disagrees with their interpretation (I didn't see anything shocking from a traditionalist perspective in any of the examples he cited); the commentary and essays vary; from what Wieseltier quoted, not a lot sounds that profound or deeply-rooted in traditionalist sources, but mostly not offensive either. And some, such as the Lemony Snicket piece, that's really intended just for humor.
    – Shalom
    Mar 27, 2012 at 16:15

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