A Haggadah for Every Occasion: 15 Haggadot Must-Haves

Page from the illuminated Darmstadt Haggadah, Germany, c. 1420. (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Page from the illuminated Darmstadt Haggadah, Germany, c. 1420. (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

The haggadah you choose for the seder sets the tone and conversation for the whole shebang. Perhaps this is your first time celebrating and you are looking for an easy-to-follow classic. Maybe you’ve done this dozens of times and you are looking to mix it up. Whatever your experience, here’s a list of 15 haggadot that are sure to bring a little extra something to the [seder] table this year:

For the Seder Newbie

Photo: Amazon

You can’t go wrong with a tried and true classic. The Maxwell House Haggadah has been a staple in American Jewish homes for decades. Simple and to the point, this haggadah doesn’t offer much by way of commentary or illustrations, but as they say, its easy-to-follow layout is “good to the last drop.”

For the Kid Inside 

Photo: Amazon

Holy Exodus, Batman! The Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel is fun for the whole family. Featuring your standard text in both Hebrew and English, this haggadah brings our epic story of heroes and villains to life through a colorful and engaging comic book narrative. 

For the Harry Potter Aficionado

Photo: Amazon

In addition to what you’d expect to find, The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah relates each part of the seder to a concept in Harry Potter (like the parallels between the four Hogwarts houses and the four children). You’ll also find six essays on topics important to both Harry Potter and the story of Passover, like slavery and having empathy for they-who-shall-not-be-named. 

And if you like this style but are more of a Marvel fan than a Harry Potter one, don’t worry! Rabbi Rosenberg’s new Superhero Haggadah should do the trick.

For the Out-of-the-Box Thinker

Photo: Unbound

The brainchild of a Jerusalem-based graphic artist, the Unbound Haggadah is unlike any other. For one, it’s literally unbound- it’s a series of 12 interactive “cards” filled with old and new interpretations of the text. Packed with symbolic imagery and thought-provoking discussion questions, this haggadah is bound (ha!) to get people asking questions.

For the Art Lover

Photo: Asufa Design

Another Israeli design, the Asufa Haggadah is a labor of love. It features four different covers to choose from and each page is illustrated by a different local artist. The 2021 edition is Hebrew-only, but check out their bilingual edition if you are looking for English. 

For the History Buff

Photo: Amazon

Tradition, tradition!! The Schechter Haggadah: Art, History and Commentary is a must-have for anyone interested in the development of seder customs. In their own words, it’s “filled with fascinating discussion and analysis, from the development of the Mah Nishtanah to the use of horseradish as maror, to the larger question of how new seder rituals were established and infused with meaning.” And hey, it’s written by an educator, so you know this book digs deep.

For the One Short on Time

Photo: Amazon

Move over Dominos, you’ve got some swift competition in the “30 minutes or less” department. The name pretty much says it all, but want to know our favorite thing about the 30 minute Seder? It’s one of only a few haggadot on the market that offers a braille version!

For the Non-believer

Photo: Amazon

There is so much to love about The Unorthodox Haggadah. It’s fun, funny and functional with heaps of sass and just a hint of heresy. Simply put, it’s everything you didn’t know you needed in your life. 

For the Puzzle-Obsessed

Photo: Amazon

Not for the faint of heart, the Emoji Haggadah is exactly what you’d expect- a Passover haggadah made entirely of emojis. If you’ve ever had trouble staying engaged at the table, give this a try. Not a stand-alone option for beginners, but a perfect companion piece to add to your collection.

For the Activist 

Photo: Amazon / Photo: HIAS

Do you prefer a modern take on the traditional exodus story? Then the Human Rights Haggadah and the HIAS digital haggadah are both worth checking out. Focusing on issues of human rights, like slavery and the global refugee crisis, these haggadot make the Passover story as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago.

For the Seinfeld enthusiast

Photo: Amazon

Brand new on the market, The Haggadah About Nothing features commentary, parallels and parody between the haggadah and Seinfeld (yes, that Seinfeld). According to a 5-star review, it also features “an appendix with recipes from the show” and an “extensive list of episodes” referenced throughout, in case you want to go back and marathon them. 

For the Self-Reflective

Photo: Amazon

Instead of asking what’s different about seder night (the traditionally asked question of the night), the Holistic Haggadah asks how you will be different. Focusing on the spiritual aspect of the seder and filled with commentary, this haggadah guides you on a journey of self reflection in order to free yourself from a “spiritual Egypt.”

For the One Who Likes to Mix and Match

Not really looking to buy a new haggadah this year but still want something new and different? Haggadot.com is a great online resource you can use to build your own haggadah. Mix and match your favorite haggadot on the site to create a seder companion perfectly tailored to your needs and interests. 

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