Friday, March 16, 2007

The Carlebach Haggadah: Seder Night With Reb Shlomo

Chaim Sefansky, Urim Publications, 2001

This is a wacky Haggadah, as its title indicates. It contains the usual text of the Haggadah, instructions for Pesach preparations, laws of the Seder, etc. Beneath the text are Carlebach stories. They are presented in the way one could imagine Carlebach telling them, with liberal uses of phrases like ‘my friends’ and ‘sweet friends’. Some of the stories have little to do with the Seder, but are of general inspirational value and of the Chassidic Rebbe genre. Here is a representative example:

Burning the Chametz

The Karliner says: ‘How do you burn the chametz? With the fire of your heart, with the fire of serving God’. And the fire goes on burning all through Pesach. The holy Rebbe David Lelover says: ‘I once learned how to serve God from the Cossacks. I was passing by a fort where Cossacks got their basic training and I saw them beating another Cossack as a punishment. I asked them, ‘What did he do?’ and they answered, ‘Last night her as standing guard and in the morning we found him half frozen.’ I said he should be given a medal, since despite the cold he held out. The Cossacks laughed and said, ‘You don’t understand! If you’re really serving the Czar of Russia, everything you do gets done with so much fire, it keeps you warm.’’ So on Pesach we are really serving God, once we’ve found the chametz and burned it and our hearts are on fire. (pg. 10-11)

A fun book to browse over Yom Tov.

The Carlebach Haggadah