by David Derovan
Do you remember growing up with the SOY Haggadah in your house? Or maybe your parents or even you used “The Passover Haggadah” by David Derovan and Moshe Berliner? You know, the one with the quirky color pictures. Well, David has done it again! French Creek Press has just published You Shall Tell Your Son: Essays on Pesach and the Haggadah by David Derovan.
Covering almost every major section of the Haggadah and then some, these essays focus on the major issues and bring to bear a wide variety of sources. For example, in an effort to understand the role of the wicked son at the Seder, we read a Peshat answer from the Ritba (Rav Yom Tov ibn Ashvili) who says that the Haggadah teaches us to answer each question in kind. Then we learn the Reb Yerucham HaLevi of Mir says that this child is not really wicked. He is just challenging us to listen closely to him. At the same time, Reb Shmu’el of Sochaczew, the famous Shem MiShmu’el, claims that the wicked son is not asking a question at all, but is trying to weaken our resolve to do Torah and Mitzvot. Nevertheless, he says, don’t count him out. At least he showed up at the Seder. Ideas such as these are just the tip of the iceberg.
The book is written in a lucid, sophisticated style for adults. It can be read leisurely, studied intensely and certainly used as an excellent resource for expanding the discussion at the Seder table.