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    Time to buy a new Haggadah

    The Sulzbach Haggadah, 1755

    A few days before Pesach, and the excitement is building up. The house is in disarray with all the cleaning and domestic preparations.

    The shopping is either done or well in hand. The Pesach recipes, some yellow with age, have been rediscovered. The family are on notice as to when to gather for Seder. People have begun humming the familiar tunes; some are already relishing in advance the characteristic Pesach tastes.

    However, with all the work that goes towards making it Pesach, many forget to plan the content of their Seder. The food, yes, that’s worked out, but the way the procedures of the Haggadah will be conducted, the allocation of parts, and above all the explanations that should punctuate the evening – so often these are left to chance, and the Seder suffers.

    There is still time. Go and buy a new Haggadah. There is an amazing range of editions available. Look for one with a user-friendly commentary. Work through it before the night. Weave it into the Seder discussion. But get other people involved too.

    There is a long-established custom in many families for various people to contribute to the food. Extend it, and give everyone some pre-Pesach homework. Tell this person, “Bring us some interesting points about the Four Questions.” Tell this one, “Find out something interesting about the Four Sons”. And so on. You could even ask those with good voices to come prepared with a new tune for Addir Hu, Chad Gadya, or whatever.

    You will have the most exciting Seder of your life!

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