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© 2019 Edwin Mishkin

Haggadahs have been used by Jewish people at their annual Passover Seders since at least the time of Maimonides in the 12th Century. Their central premise is that the Seder, while taking place in the home and not the synagogue, is still a religious function and that the participants are there because of their religious convictions. And so they are typically filled with lengthy prayers, blessings and praises of God, phrased in the ceremonial language of Jewish litany that sounds so filled with meaning in its familiar Hebrew cadences but, like the libretto of an opera, seems to lose its power when translated into English.

Today, however, in many homes where Seders are conducted, there are participants who are not religious but who nevertheless hope to find continuing relevance in this greatest of Jewish traditions, in which Jews wherever they live gather with their families to celebrate the birth of the Jewish nation and its liberation from the first of the many oppressions it has faced over the centuries. This Haggadah was written by one of such nonobservant members of the Jewish family, who hopes that it will appeal to like-minded Jews without offending those who would prefer a more orthodox text with which to celebrate Passover.