April 22, 2024
My Annual Passover "Vinch" (Wish)

 Hi! Every year, I send out an annual pre-Passover e-mail filled with all the wonderful media attention I've received for whatever latest haggadah I've published.

This year, because of my glitzy new website, I can cram all that into a single link. This is how it's gone, blessedly:


Now let's talk about the two points that REALLY matter:

1) I'm Not Playing - I produce silly haggadot, but their purpose is not silly at all. On my book tour, I have explained that the haggadah was created for, and marketed to, adults - for hundreds of years before they were finally manufactured for children around the turn of this century. What TOOK so long when the whole purpose of seder night is v'haggadata l'vinhca? That we should teach our children? Then it took another decade to finally produce stuff for teenagers. That's where I've stepped in, and worked to flourish.

Every year, I receive e-mails and texts from strangers and friends telling me how bonding my work is in some of the fractured relationships that exist in the world. This past year, I received notice that The Shakespeare Haggadah finally gave some overworked and overharried wives a bit of respite and enjoyment at the seder.

Nothing could be more rewarding, and few other things could make me happier. I will continue to produce haggadot that are goofy on the surface, but relationship-cement in the layer beneath.

2) Remember the Message - the mitzvah of the night is to tell our children. The haggadah is the vehicle that drives this purpose. The message of the night is the one in Vehi She'umdah: in every generation, they try to destroy us, but The Man Upstairs frustrates their plans. I have heard it said by respected clergy that Gen X may have not known what it's like to have an existential crisis in Israel, as the Yom Kippur War transpired before the bulk of us were born. Well, now we know, don't we? And our children now know too, and I don't think this will ever skip a generation. However, He will always be there, Iron-Doming His chosen people.

Join me this Passover in two things, one silly, one serious:

1) My next haggadah is The Dad Jokes Haggadah. I'm going to crowdsource this one big time. If you're a dad, or if you know one, or love one, or if you've ever seen one, hope to be one, or have one, or had one, please share your favorite Dad Joke with me. This one's gonna be epic. Let's get to work.

2) We will have an empty seat at our seder table. I can't tell you how to arrange yours, but if our purpose here is to teach our children, and to remember that He governs everything, then I can't imagine a more appropriate gesture.

Have a wonderful, meaningful, educational, inspirational, sensational, and of course, Muppetational chag kosher v'sameach.

Am Yisroel chai! May The Force be with all of us.

-Martin (Mordechi) Bodek