Why I’m Not Returning My Copy Of “The New American Haggadah”

This piece was first published as “Gendered Text Doesn’t Spoil New Haggadah” on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.

Jonathan Safran Foer (left) and Nathan Englander

Kathleen Peratis wrote in this Sisterhood post that she seriously considered taking her 24 copies of “New American Haggadah” back to the bookstore, after she realized that the Passover manual doesn’t use gender-inclusive language. I’m clearly expecting fewer seder guests than is Peratis. I own one copy of the aforementioned Haggadah, and have every intention of keeping and using mine.

I wonder whether the fact that it is titled “New American Haggadah” is what troubles Peratis and other feminists. After all, the United States gave rise to women’s lib; it’s where Title IX is the law of the land, and where the widespread rabbinical ordination of women took root.

But for me, it is precisely because of the fact that this new Haggadah, edited and translated by leading (male) literary luminaries Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander, was published here that the use of the traditional male-oriented text is totally acceptable.

Click here to read more.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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