[Book Review] Night of Beginnings: A Passover Haggadah by Marcia Falk

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By Marcia Falk

In time for Pesach 5782 comes a new Haggadah by Marcia Falk. This new text provides the full narrative from the Exodus and provides a feminist perspective on the familiar story from the perspectives of Miriam; Shifrah and Pu’ah, the Hebrew midwives responsible for saving the lives of Hebrew babies; as well as Pharaoh’s daughter, who discovered Moses’ basket in the river and raised him as her son and a Prince of Egypt. Falk also provides reflective questions, inviting seder participants to engage in personal mediation on what this night means to each individual.

I have become a collector of Haggadot and this is the most beautiful in my collection, by far. The illustrations are a wonderful addition. The various sections are color coded, simplifying navigation as the seder progresses. The overall aesthetic is truly lovely.

In terms of content, I appreciate the inclusion of the full narrative from the Torah, allowing for an easy point of reference. The inclusion of Hebrew, transliteration, and English makes this very accessible to all participants around the seder table. I also found the additions of poems, songs, and blessings presented from a female viewpoint brings greater representation to the women of this important narrative.

While perfect for a traditional seder, this Haggadah would be the ideal guide for gathering your girlfriends for a Women’s or Sisterhood seder.

I’d like to thank Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc for the free copy of this beautiful Haggadah in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Photo credit Brian Miller

Marcia Falk has pursued a lifelong commitment to beauty, meaning, and the connection between them. Her theology and approach to creating new liturgy have evolved over the past four decades and become less easy to categorize—even for herself. As her work has matured, she has found growing freedom in the ways she expresses this central commitment. 

Known widely for her groundbreaking prayer books, The Book of Blessings and The Days Between, which re-create Hebrew and English prayer from an inclusive, nonpatriarchal perspective, Falk is also the creator of a volume combining her art and poetry, Inner East: Illuminated Poems and Blessings, and other books of poetry and translation. 

Falk received a bachelor’s in philosophy from Brandeis University and a doctorate in English and comparative literature from Stanford. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Bible and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, later, a postdoctoral fellow. For two decades she was a university professor. A painter and Life Member of the Art Students League, she has exhibited her artwork internationally. 

Falk lives in Berkeley, California, with her spouse, poet Steven Rood. Their son, Abraham Gilead Falk-Rood, teaches high school English to new immigrants.  Falk’s book titles and art may be viewed at http://www.marciafalk.com. 

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