Our Most Frequently Asked Question:
What’s the Difference Between the Classic and Compact?
The first thing to know is that they are more similar than different. We made the Compact to provide a less expensive (and maybe less intimidating) book for people who either (1) couldn’t afford the Classic; (2) didn’t have time to plan and assign in advance; or (3) couldn’t imagine a seder with a 180-page haggadah. But we had no intention of making a different kind of book.
- Each is a full-text traditional haggadah.
- Each contains most of the favorite feature from the Classic: The Four Children section that goes back 500 years
- Both versions now have a short section on Miriam’s Cup
- Both versions now have a more gender-neutral English translation
- The Compact has shed some of the “fat” from the Classic — no donor pages, for example
- The Classic but not the Compact has the new 33-page Storytellers Supplement
- The Classic but not the Compact has the Symposium section, with six different discussions pulled from the text “Arami Oved Avi”
- The Compact, while it retains the favorites, has lost many of the short commentaries, stories, and discussion-starters that are a major feature of the Classic
- In general . . . The Classic gives you a richer experience, more choices, more possibilities to make each seder different; but the Compact is much easier to use if you plan to just sit down, open the haggadah, and do the seder.
- If you ask your rabbi, the best choice is probably still the Classic. But if you ask your pocketbook or Uncle Abe, the Compact may be a better fit.
- Bottom line: You won’t go wrong with either. You can also buy a couple copies of the Classic to use with the Compact; the Seder Planner shows pages for each item in both books.
Visit the Art of the Four Children Gallery: