The theme of the Haggadah and its rituals is to keep alive the memory of the Exodus -- not as a celebration of a seminal event in Jewish history, not as a remembrance of the glories of the past, and not even as a harbinger of the future redemption, but as constant reality. In the words of the Haggadah, “In every generation, one is obliged to regard himself as though he himself had actually gone out from Egypt.”
Memories are less than realities.
The Egyptian exile, with its suffering, subjugation, and dehumanization, was meant to show Israel that it could not exist without its Maker’s intervention, that nature was but a tool in the hand of its Wielder, that Israel’s new nationhood was as much an act of creation as the ex nihilo creation of heaven and earth. Those are concepts which must remain with us always, because they are fundamental to our faith and mission. And those concepts are the unifying threads of this exceptional commentary to the Haggadah.
Rabbi Moshe Lieber distinguished himself as an outstanding thinker and anthologizer with his Pirkei Avos Treasury. In this remarkable work, he continues where he left off. Skillfully and sensitively, he weaves together many strands of commentary and spices them with rich sprinklings of anecdotes and parables. An Overview by Rabbi Nosson Scherman completes the package.
True -- there are many, many very fine Haggadah commentaries to choose from. Equally true -- this new Haggadah will take its place in the front rank. It is at once timeless and topical, lofty in its ideas and down to earth in its presentation, provocative and interesting, learned and accessible.
This is a work that deserves a place on every family’s Pesach table.