A Celebration of Freedom
By Martha Shelley
With Hebrew translations by Ilana Brody
Haggadah means "the telling." The escape from Egypt is the defining legend, the central drama of the Jews. Every nation coalesces around such an epic; its people project themselves into the story, aspire to the virtues of its heroes, and through periodic retelling or dramatization, transmit their values to the next generation. The traditional Haggadah offers a set of instructions for conducting the Passover service, interspersed with readings from the Bible, rabbinical commentaries, legends, prayers, hymns and children's songs. Written by men and addressing men, the traditional text has not historically offered much space for women to see themselves as fully involved in or spoken to by the powerful drama of human freedom articulated by the Haggadah. In Haggadah: A Celebration of Freedom, Martha Shelley brings a new vision to the traditional text.
Martha Shelley’s feminist Haggadah is a model of clarity infused with poetry and beautiful language. Jewish women who have felt shut out of the traditional ceremony will savor this fresh, exquisitely sensitive interpretation of the Passover seder.