process that transforms us on seder night. Seinfeld, as a show and an ethos, could not seem more differ- ent. The characters never change — they remain resolutely static in their manners, habits and patterns." Rabbi Reinstein's Haggadah, he says, is intended for people interest- ed in "Seinfeld" or in the seder's Torah concepts. There is, he says, a large overlap of men and women with an interest in both, particularly in TV-watching, Modern Orthodox circles. Some of his "Seinfeld" allusions are familiar (the "What's the Deal?" Four Questions, and the "yada- yada" and other catch phrases that pepper the Haggadah). "I took liber- ty [with translations] about a hun- dred times." And some are irrever- ently unfamiliar (the reference to the prophet Elijah, "The real pop-in guy"; a line in Dayenu: "If He had pushed down our enemies into the sea and had not supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years so we could tell Jewish jokes.") And, of course, the Four Sons, rendered as "The Four Humorous Ones." (No spoiler alert here — you'll have to read the book to see how the rabbi mines this part of the Haggadah.) Some of the allusions, particular- ly in Rabbi Reinstein's divrei Torah , are novel. A trained actuary, he watched each episode on his com- puter and kept several spreadsheet lists of the contents and how they inspired him. The birth of twin daughters almost a year ago helped his proj- ect; he took the night shift feeding them, and had much time to fill. "It was a complete blessing to have these two babies. This [the ‘Seinfeld’ research] helped me get through the year." Rabbi Reinstein calls his book "the latest creative installment in a developing genre of pop culture and Passover." "There is a real value in relating our tradition to modern culture," he says. "It makes the Haggadah more relevant to our modern lives — which is what a Haggadah is sup- posed to be about." Though "Seinfeld" left the air more than two decades ago (it's a staple in reruns and on streaming alternatives), it offers more grist for the seder mill than any shows that have followed, the rabbi says. "It's fully relevant" today. His Haggadah, he says, finds a natural audience in "the Modern Orthodox Jew who likes Seinfeld and buys a new Haggadah every year." Reinstein’s father has used a dif- ferent Haggadah every year at the family seder in Teaneck. "I had access to 50 Haggadot," said the son, which helped him prepare for his version. Rabbi Reinstein expects The Haggadah About Nothing to assume a central position at the Reinstein seder in Teaneck this year, naturally. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Rabbi Reinstein's Haggadah is available at: https://www. Nothing-Unofficial- Seinfeld/dp/0578832828 Pictures Tell: A Passover Haggadah By Zion Ozeri (Sefaria) A native of Israel, a tank com- mander in the Yom Kippur War, a resident of New York City for nearly five decades, a successful freelance photographer and design- er of several photography curricula, Ozeri produced a Haggadah in 2006 which featured many of his photo- graphs of Jews around the world, shot in the dozen or so countries he had visited. The Jewish World Family Hag- gadah (ibooks) became a popular addition to the seder table of people who appreciate his cross-cultural, artistic approach to the depiction of the Pesach story. This year Ozeri came up with a Haggadah more oriented to the needs — and technical capabilities — of the current generation. Pictures Tell , which is appearing this year as an ebook and will be published next year in standard printed-book form, is designed for people in the Zoom age who are comfortable using electronics on Shabbat or Jewish holidays. In addition to the basic Hag- gadah text in Hebrew and En- glish, Ozeri's new version fea- tures links to Jewish holiday songs and melodies from many parts of the Jewish world; links to classic Jewish sources about se-der themes ( h t t p s : / / w w w . s e f a r i a . org/collections/5B6Z0Xds ); about a dozen caption-essays about the night's readings and rituals written by prominent Jewish thinkers and scholars such as rabbis David Wolpe and Ammiel Hirsch — and, of course, an expanded offering of Ozeri's evocative photography. All, he says, are "visual com- mentaries — 'texts' in their own right — that speak to, expand on, challenge, and re-contextualize the words of the Haggadah that have been so carefully handed down through the generations. "T his year most people are going to do 'Zoom seders,'" and a standard Haggadah will not be satisfying, says Ozeri, who stud- ied at the Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and served as a Jewish Week staff photographer for several years in the 1980s. Ozeri says he has increasingly turned to Zoom during the past year, for a Kiddush shared with friends at the start of Shabbat and a Havdalah service afterwards, as well as Torah study during the week. He calls his free Haggadah — co- created by Sara Wolkenfeld, direc- tor of education at the Sefaria Jewish sources website, and muse- um expert Josh Feinberg — the only one of its type that includes a wide variety of cultural and peda- gogic links. It shares the same goals — "emotion, experience and empowerment" — as his first Haggadah. He plans to use his own Haggadah at his seders this year; friends from such places as California and other parts of New York State will join him. Link on_ozeri/passover-haggadah/ Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah Edited by Rabbi Hara Person and Jessica Greenbaum, art by Tobi Kahn (Central Conference of American Rabbis) T his is a Haggadah for a non-Orthodox, poetry-orien- ted crowd. Compiled by Rabbi Person, chief executive of the Reform movement's Central Con- ference of American Rabbis, and poet Greenbaum, it features dozens of poems, by poets Jewish and non- Jewish, which accompany and reflects on most of the Hagg- adah's traditional text. Like many contem- porary Haggadot, it in- cludes most of the standard words (with gender- neutral translation of key terms), and omits or abbreviates some lengthy readings or those that would seem foreign or problematic to some contemporary readers. "The use of poetry alongside liturgy is already well established in Reform publications," Rabbi Person writes — "what is liturgy other than a specific kind of poet- ry?" In addition to verse and Kahn's beautiful artwork are paragraphs that explain many of the se- der's sometimes-unfamiliar read- ings and rituals. Illustrative of the poetry is "Motto," by the late German writer Bertolt Brecht: In the dark times, Will there also be singing? Yes, there will be also be singing About the dark times. "Mishkan HaSeder" also offers two versions of Dayenu, one trun- cated and one expanded, with a pair of added paragraphs about "true prophets." Fruits of Freedom: The Torah Flora Haggadah By Jon Greenberg (Torah Flora Publications) This should be an instant classic. Greenberg, who calls himself "one of the very few living Biblical and Talmudic ethnobotanists" — he's a longtime science teacher and educational consultant — has issued a Haggadah that combines insightful commentary about the Pesach themes and a panoply of photographs and artwork that illus- trate the Jewish people's physical and agricultural connections to the Holy Land, dating back to the exo- dus story. Particularly interesting are his explanations of the intersections between traditional Jewish faith and fact-based science. While Greenberg's writing and educational background have a clearly Orthodox-bent, the scholarship conveyed in his Haggadah is easily accessible to anyone with even a minimal Jewish background. You need not be a maven — in Judaism or science — to appreciate his commentary on such topics as the role that bread and baking played in ancient Egypt, the evolution of the seder plate, the order of the seder, the Four Sons (or Four Children, which the author renders as "Four Students"), the importance of wine, and bees and honey. While recommended reading at the seder itself, "Fruits of Freedom" will be useful if perused before- hand, as an invaluable source of information about Passover and Jewish practice. The Novominsk Haggadah: Insights from the Novominsker Rebbe By Rabbi Yaakov Perlow (ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications) The Chasam Sofer Haggadah: The Torah and customs, stories and spirit of Rabbi Moshe Sofer of Pressburg By Yisroel Besser (ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications) A rtScroll, the most prolific and respected publisher of books for the haredi market, has issued two Haggadot in time for Pesach this year. One features the insights of a recently deceased leader of the Orthodox community; the other, of a prominent 19th-century rabbi. Rabbi Perlow, known as the Novominkser Rebbe, was titular head of the Novominsk Hasidic dynasty, whose roots were in Poland before it shifted to Brooklyn after the Holocaust. President of Agudath Israel of America and head of its Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages), he lived in Borough Park, until he died of COVID-19 last year. The Chasam Sofer’s — the name by which Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, who lived in Pressburg (now known as Bratislava, Slovakia), was known — was a leader of the wider Orthodox community and one of the most prominent, uncom- promising opponents of the emerg- ing Haskalah (enlightenment) movement. “The Chasam Sofer's Haggadah,” compiled from his writings and speeches by veteran author Yisroel Besser, is a combi- nation of scholarly insights and personal anecdotes; the Novominsk Haggadah is more-standard com- mentary. Both are designed primarily for a readership familiar with the con- cepts and terms that bespeak ad- vanced Jewish learning, but are accessible to anyone interested in leading, or participating in, an eru- dite seder. Particularly valuable in The Novominsk Haggadah is its extensive commentary on Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs), which is traditionally recited on the first night of Passover. Particularly use- ful in The Chasam Sofer Haggadah are the stories of how he lived and celebrated Pesach, which illustrate the personal side of a public figure whose written words and public pronouncements influenced his and subsequent generations. Steve Lipman is a contributing writer to the Long Island Jewish World group of newspapers. Time continued from page 8 28 JEWISH WORLD • MARCH 19-25, 2021