Hogwarts Haggadah for Fans Only
PassoverMoses Had A Staff, Harry Potter Has A Wand

Hogwarts Haggadah for Fans Only

Rabbi gives an depth analysis of Harry Potter for Passover.

Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, the author of the 2001 book “Morality for Muggles: Ethics in the Bible and the World of Harry Potter,” loves Harry Potter and believes that the Hogwarts saga and Passover share many similarities, including “concepts of slavery and freedom, focus on education, and the number four.”

The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah
By Moshe Rosenberg
BSD, 148 pages, $27.95

He inserts his analysis of the characters and plot of the Harry Potter series into this complete haggadah (Hebrew and English), although, on close perusal, I couldn’t find the blessing for counting the Omer after the second seder.

The author parallels sections of the Haggadah and the Exodus story with specific incidents in the Hogwarts story. For example, he compares lifting our wine cup during the seder without drinking to a scene in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Rosenberg also discusses the differences between Moses’ staff and Harry’s wand.

A charming feature is Rabbi Rosenberg’s use of querying students about haggadah-related themes (Which Harry Potter character best understood the concept of freedom?) and their thoughtful answers.

An annoying feature is the author’s obsession with the sacrifice Harry’s mother made for him. Rabbi Rosenberg even wrote a song that parallels “Had Gadya” to celebrate Lily’s love for Harry and her sacrifice for him: “Unconditional love, unconditional love.”

If you don’t know anything about Lily’s sacrifice or who “He Who Shall Not Be Named” refers to in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, this is not the haggadah for you.

But if your you and your seder guests love Harry Potter, this haggadah may inspire you to “create associations” that help everyone appreciate both even more.

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