A Beautiful Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel
Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Erez Zadok’s 2019 graphic Haggadah will delight parents and children. There are humorous comics explaining the Haggadah and Seder ceremonies in about half of the book’s 170 pages with the chad gadya, the Haggadah’s goat, explaining the Seder practices to his hungry impatient daughter. At one point, when the vegetable karpas is served near the onset of the Seder, the goat’s daughter excitingly says, “Finally! Something to eat,” while her brother remarks more wisely, “Don’t get too excited, it is only veggies.” On another occasion, the goat’s son states, “On Passover our custom is to treat everyone as a king,” and his daughter objects, “You mean queen.”
The book contains the full unabridged authentic text. Everything the family needs is in the book. There is the Hebrew, a transliteration into English letters, full instructions whenever a Seder ritual needs to be performed, and explanations of what is done, what is used, and what it signifies. When biblical verses are quoted the Haggadah gives the source. Sometimes an additional new explanation is added to the traditional one, such as the z’roa, shank bone, not only reminding the family of the Pascal lamb sacrificed on the holiday when the temple existed, but “it looks like an outstretched arm and signifies the eternal bond between us and God.” Also, the breaking of the middle matzah is not only explained that one piece is needed to eat when we begin the festive meal and the other piece is used in a game to keep the interest of the children awake, for they will hide it and get rewarded for returning it. The Haggadah adds, we break the matzah “as a people, we must be broken to be rebuilt.” Additionally, eating and drinking after the Seder is forbidden because “we want the tastes of liberation and unity to linger as long as possible.”
There are drawings showing the ancient Israelite history, Egyptian slavery, the plagues, and much more. The drawings of the people show white and black Israelites in ancient times and today, and many men and boys today with yarmulkes, some without.
The Haggadah is filled with clever ideas. When it speaks of God passing judgment on those who hurt Jews, it shows a drawing of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. When Genesis 15:13-14 is quoted “and then they will leave with great wealth,” the drawing is of a man in a tallit holding a baby who is being circumcised.
The last page of the Haggadah contains one of the clever innovative ideas, a six-panel cartoon: “The Torah speaks of Four Types of Generations. One that is astute. One that is rebellious. One that is innocent. And one. One, One that will light the way.” The last, a grandmother showing her granddaughter how the candles are lit before the Shabbat.
 The book was originally published in Hebrew in 2019 and was translated by David Olivestone. It is published by Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.