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The Un-Haggadah  
Product ID: UNHAG
Publisher: Self Published
The Un-Haggadah

Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg noticed over the years that at some Passover seders, the Four Questions seemed to be dramatically different from the ones generations have pondered over the centuries of Jewish life.


So, instead of "Why is this night different … ?" He was hearing:

  • Question 1: When do we eat?
  • Question 2: How long will this take?
  • Question 3: Do we have to read the whole thing?
  • Question 4: Do we have to do it again tomorrow night?

Sounds familiar?


The "Un-Haggadah" skips none of the Haggadah’s sacred order for observing the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. What Rabbi Wohlberg does, however, is add commentary at every juncture, relating the ancient story in contemporary terms in 26 separate essays.

For example, at the part of the seder where we say "In every generation everyone is obligated …" Rabbi Wohlberg writes "it is hard, terribly hard, for any of us to see ourselves and feel ourselves as if we had gone forth out of Egypt."

He adds that we have to imagine what it must have been like to get into the Passover spirit. To help us reach that level of thought, he urges us to look around at our world where we see the starving and human tragedy of Darfur. And like he does throughout the "Un- Haggadah," Rabbi Wohlberg leaves us with questions to ponder. In this case, the questions are:

  • Are you able to put yourself in the place of others?
  • Are you able to put yourself in the place of your parents, feeling their worries and concerns?
  • Are you able to put yourself in the place of your children, feeling their angst?
  • Are you able to put yourself in the place of the homeless?
  • The handicapped?
  • The people of Darfur?
  • Where is Darfur?

Perhaps it is difficult for a person to feel as if he were actually there crossing the desert. Or maybe a Jew living his life in Pikesville, driving a car, going to work, surfing the ‘Net, eating out and taking vacations has trouble feeling like a slave in Egypt.

What Rabbi Wohlberg does is to expand Passover table. "Slavery" can be defined as the obstacles a person must overcome to achieve personal or professional growth. So much of the seder, he said, is focused on food, where so much more should be targeted in the area of self-development.

Rabbi Wohlberg was actually writing a book on lessons to be learned from the rich and famous when he started working on the "Un-Haggadah."

"The Pesach seder is the most important religious event for the Jewish family," he said. "At Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we are sitting in synagogue not talking to each other. At the Passover seder it’s the one time a year when the family is together doing something Jewish. For the most part, seders are geared to children. But there are often adults who come to the table who want to converse about almost anything as long as it’s not Jewish."

"People often don’t know what to talk about, they’re not going to be interested in who is Laban the Aramean. And most Haggadahs are geared in that direction."

"Perhaps the message of Passover is that human slavery is created not only by chains and whips, but frequently we enslave ourselves," writes Rabbi Wohlberg. "Our ancestors were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt, but all too many of us are slaves to money and our jobs."


This critically acclaimed title is sure to enlighten, inspire and enhance your Passover for generations to come.

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