The Promise of the Land: A Passover Haggadah

Galia Goodman
Explore themes of nature and the land within the Passover seder.
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Printed Material
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Explore themes of nature and the land within the Passover seder.

From the unassuming matzah that reveals the simplicity of earth, wheat, and water, to the first fruits of the soil that the Israelites offered in gratitude, the earth has always been at the center of who we are as a people.

Passover marks the Jewish people's liberation from slavery in Egypt and the coming of spring. Yet it is also a story about land and the natural world. All our biblical holidays - Passover included - originally commemorated the agrarian and pastoral soil of of which Judaism grew.

This haggadah keeps the earth at the forefront of our minds. In addition to all the traditional blessings and rituals, it includes sidebars and other features that uncover the connections between the seder and the land.

For instance, karpas symbolizes the vibrant, verant energy of spring, and reminds us that, like plants, we are born of the earth. Dayeinu is seen as a commentary on appreciating what we have and avoiding waste and overconsumption.

Stunning artwork enhances the moods and themes of the seder in warm tones that are at once vibrant and earthy.

About the Author
Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is the founder of Shomrei Adamah, the first national Jewish environmental organization. She is also the author of Ecology and the Jewish Spirit and The Splendor of Creation, and coauthor of Let the Earth Teach You Torah. She lives in Massachusetts.

About the Artist
Galia Goodman has created artwork for synagogues, churches, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Her artwork includes papercuts, calligraphy, acrylic, and watercolor painting, collage, and recycled materials. She lives in North Carolina.