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The Haggadah Dilemma

The matzahs are gone; the ongoing question remains: Has anyone found a satisfying haggadah?

For the past two years, we’ve used the slim paperback egalitarian “Family Haggadah” by Elie M. Gindi. Not great but good and plenty of room for personal input.

But the search for a better haggadah remains far more daunting than the hunt for the afikoman.

Speaking personally, the great mother-daughter generational battle for me was sparked in the 1980s with the realization that our charoset-smeared, wine-stained Union Haggadah — the Reform “Union Haggaddah Revised,” dating back to 1923 — was so sexist that even the matzah was man-made.

I less than graciously forced Aviva Cantor’s socialist-Zionist-animal rights haggadah (first published in Lilith) down the throats of my family. It was a one-time event. At the end, my father, in one of the more gracious responses to the experience, said, “This is not our style.”

And so each year I imagine the wise women of the feminist seder now in its 34th year — Esther Broner, Letty Cottin Pogrebin et al — gathered for their ever-evolving telling of the story while the rest of us page through piles of haggadot, wishing we’d gotten an earlier start on the search for haggadah satisfaction.

Any breakthroughs?

— Amy Stone