For those of the Jewish faith, Passover typically entails reading the Haggadah, a religious text that sets the order of the Seder. For forty years, journalist and ABC News contributor Cokie Roberts' Haggadah consisted of "a stapled together sheaf of papers wearing varying degrees of wine and mint sauce stains," a document she typed out herself in 1970.
Since then, Roberts' Haggadah has evolved into many different versions, just like her Passover traditions have evolved into a unique multi-cultural celebration that is exclusive to no faiths. In her and her husband Steve's new book "Our Haggadah," the couple shares a Passover guide for multifaith families based on their Haddagah, as well as their own Passover experiences as an interfaith couple.
Read the Preface from the book below, then check out some other books in the "GMA" library.
This Year in Your House
Actually "our Haggadah" has never looked anything like this. For more than forty years, a stapled together sheaf of papers wearing varying degrees of wine and mint sauce stains—that's been our Haggadah. The original one dates to 1970, and we still have a few copies, typed out on an old Smith-Corona, interspersed with more than a few typos, printed on that shiny paper used by the first copying machines. We revised it once, after twenty-five years, when our neighbor, and a regular participant in our Seders, Doug Firstenberg, offered to print up better typed, more readable copies. At first, we heard howls of protest from our friends -- where were the marks and mistakes? It didn't take long of course for us to infuse the "Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition" with a new set of wine stains.
Our Haggadah has also been something of a mishmash where we go back and forth from our homemade sheets to what we call the "blue book," a Haggadah published by the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation that we've used for decades as a supplement to the typewritten pages. Every year Steve and I argue about exactly where in the service we first move to the book, causing hoots and hollers from our longtime Seder buddies who have come to see this dispute as a Passover tradition. It's just one of the many Passover traditions—some silly, some special—that we and our friends, old and new, have come to anticipate annually as we celebrate the festival of freedom that is at the same time universal and unique. People from all ountries and cultures can relate to the theme of breaking out of bondage, but it is the Jewish people who have kept alive this celebration, often risking their lives to do it, over thousands of years.