Human Rights Haggadah

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The Human Rights Haggadah

by Shlomo Levin
Illustration and Design by Tiferet Sigala
8x10", 84pp soft cover, full color

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Shlomo Levin’s Human Rights Haggadah blends the full traditional liturgy with provocative questions on human rights.” — The Forward

Produced in the traditional Hebrew right to left format, and featuring the full traditional text in Hebrew and English, including the fourteen steps and full color illustrations, THE HUMAN RIGHTS HAGGADAH quotes the original text and invites families to reflect on how these teachings relate to current human rights issues from food insecurity to modern slavery to war crimes.

Meant to enrich the Passover Seder with thought-provoking and meaningful questions for 21st-century Jews, Levin’s guide connects passages from the traditional text with current questions about human rights, such as:

  • All who are hungry, let them come and eat — Is access to food a human right, or do people have to earn even their basic necessities?
  • If God had not redeemed us, we would still be slaves to pharaoh in Egypt — What does slavery look like in the 21st century?
  • If the wicked son has been in Egypt, he would not have been redeemed — Can wicked people or those who commit crimes be punished with slavery?
  • When the Israelites went out from Egypt, they left with great wealth — When are reparations necessary, and when does collecting reparations create new injustice or lighten the conscience of those who have committed crimes?
  • Jacob went to dwell in Egypt temporarily, not to remain there — Was Jacob a migrant or a refugee? Could Pharaoh have turned him away, and what must we do when vast numbers of people seek refuge from war or famine?
  • The Children of Israel were fruitful and multiplied, and the land was filled with them — Is having children a human right that must remain a personal decision, or can governments put limits on family size to preserve natural or economic resources?
  • God brought ten plagues upon Egypt — Since the ten plagues were directed against Egypt’s entire population, were they similar to war crimes? What are the limits we must follow even when fighting for freedom?

With THE HUMAN RIGHTS HAGGADAH at the table, families will be inspired to welcome thoughtful, provocative conversations to the Seder, inspired by Levin’s work — from targeting civilians to end massive injustice, understanding the difference between migrants and refugees to what should be done with people who benefit from oppression and slave labor, and more —all within the context of what the Passover tradition truly stands for.

Rabbi Shlomo Levin

About the Author

SHLOMO LEVIN received his ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and Yeshivat HaMivtar in Jerusalem. He served as a congregational Orthodox rabbi for 14 years, 11 of which he spent shepherding the faithful at Lake Park Synagogue on Milwaukee’s east side. A Chicago native, he retired from serving as a rabbi to become an entrepreneur. “An understanding of human rights is the key to making a better world,” Levin believes.


Look inside the book:

Is Food a Human Right? Genocide Refugees