I have a lot of Passover Haggadahs. I like to buy used ones on ebay and have built a small but respectable collection. I like to have some old ones and some new ones. I like Haggadot with pictures. I love Haggadaot with nicely arranged Hebrew calligraphy. I like to read varying translations in English.
Most of all, I love displaying them cover forward on one of the shelves in my home-office.
When it comes to a Haggadah to use for my family (1st night) and my synagogue (2nd night), I have tried a few options. I bought about 60 copies of a Family Haggadah with cool pictures and in which the Seder only takes 30-45 minutes in addition to the meal.
The problem is, the makers of this Haggadah decided what to leave out and what to include. As I learned more about the Haggadah, I wanted to be the one who decided what to include and what to leave out.
I bought an inexpensive Artscroll Haggadah and have 120 of them. They are somewhat plain, but they work fine.
The problem is, they do not, of course, integrate the words of Yeshua and the memory of Yeshua. I want a Haggadah that integrates them intelligently and is also beautiful.
Of course, I have a few “Messianic” Haggadot. The most famous of these was made years ago by a well-known Messianic Jewish publisher. They are affordable. They have some attractive illustrations. If you’ve used the one I’m talking about, you know that this commonly available Haggadah is from the Hebrew Christian era. It makes use of very little of the traditional text of the Haggadah.
So, I have plenty of Haggadot. Why should I buy another one? Actually, why should I buy another sixty copies of one?
Well, at last someone has done what I have been wanting for a long time. They have produced a traditional Haggadah that integrates the words and memory of Yeshua. They have made it beautiful in terms of font and layout as well as art. They have made it readable, with very clear beginnings of sections, so that I can easily navigate and choose what to leave in and what to leave out.
And they are making it affordable: $10 for one copy, $6 for 5-9 copies, $5 for 10-49 copies, and $3.50 for 50 plus copies.
I am talking about the Vine of David Haggadah, which is not even quite off the press yet.
Vine of David is a line of products for the Messianic Jewish community, an imprint of First Fruits of Zion. Vine of David is producing high-quality books of classical proto-Messianic Jewish writers such as Paul Philip Levertoff and Yechiel Lichtenstein. They are providing liturgical resources, such as a complete Siddur that is in process.
In addition to the Haggadah, they are releasing a Seudat Mashiach (google it) Haggadah in honor of Yeshua for the seventh day.
The thing is, it will be a week or so yet before we can order the Vine of David Haggadah. It will be ready in time for use at Passover this year, but not by much. I have a pre-release PDF edition which I am reviewing. I could not be more pleased. I usually try to provide some critique of books and products I review, but this Haggadah has no downside.
In 2011, they will release a Deluxe edition with commentary and in hardcover.
So, what could make me switch Haggadahs last minute? A Haggadah that has Yeshua and tradition and integrates them well. Here are a few specifics about the Haggadah and how to order.
–The Vine of David Haggadah wisely avoids the self-consciousness problem of many earlier Messianic Haggadot: it does not assume you have no idea how to celebrate Passover or that you need a theology justifying the observance of Passover. It simply exists as a tool for those who celebrate Passover and who want the full tradition and full observance of Yeshua’s presence in the process.
–The fonts in Hebrew and English are beautiful and the layout is designed for easily finding your place. Your eyes are drawn to sections without any difficulty. Of all the Haggadot I own, I would rate the Vine of David in the highest category for ease of use (for a traditional Haggadah — some might argue that abridged Haggadot are easier to use).
–The integrations of prayers about Yeshua, words of Yeshua, and the memory of Yeshua, are classically done and with a depth of passion and relationship that all Messianic Jews want to achieve in the Seder. For example, after lighting the candles, there are two short prayers. One of them reads as follows, “Like a branch that remains in a vine, so may I remain in him, just as he also remains in the Father and the Father in him, in order that they remain in us. May the grace of the Master, Yeshua the Messiah, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit abound to us.”
–The Maggid section (my favorite, how about yours) is beautifully laid out and easy to use. This is important for me. Some of my Haggadot use small print or confusing layouts in the Maggid section.
–Yeshua’s sayings at his last Seder with the disciples are seamlessly integrated in the appropriate places.
–In 2011, there will be a CD with melodies for the songs in Hebrew and English.
–HOW TO ORDER: The order information will be up on ffoz.org in a week or so. Meanwhile you can see more about the Haggadah here (http://ffoz.org/blogs/2010/02/the_vine_of_david_haggadah.html). Check the ffoz.org store to order in the near future.