ABOUT THE BOOK
Jewish identity and love for Israel starts in the home. The commentary of the Chinitz Zion Haggadah transforms Passover to becoming the premier Zionist holiday on the Jewish calendar. The Passover Seder, when we experience our redemption from slavery by God’s hand to become a nation, is the prime time to focus on the very close relationship between modern Israel and biblical times, when God took us out of Egypt to bring us to the Promised Land. Zionism began with our redemption from Egypt. The first section of the commentary focuses on how our traditional Haggadah, born in the galut, would have been different had it been written today. The Hatikvah, prayer for Israel and prayer for the IDF and perhaps a fifth cup are included. As we read the traditional text, we read many commentaries relating the lessons of the traditional Haggadah to the lessons of modern Israel.
But the Chinitz Zion Haggadah is not just a reinterpretation of the Haggadah. This Haggadah teaches the seder leader how to teach Zionism, and teaches the seder participants the desperate need for every Jew to participate in this Zionist dream. Passivity in our challenging times must be replaced by action.
Passover seders will be very different in the coming years. Every seder should have an empty chair with picture and name of an Israeli brutalized on October 7, 2023. The very tenets of modern Israel are being challenged, especially by our youth. In the last 30 pages of the text are 13 essays explaining the very basics of defending Israel, and include essays regarding antisemitism, Palestinian refugee camps, Jewish refugees, the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, Gaza, limits of criticism of Israel, the two state solution, definitions of right, centrist, liberal and progressive Jews, and many more. Dr. Chinitz encourages a discussion during each seder meal of at least some of these topics. The essays outline the basic facts, so that no discussion is based on emotions. The essays encourage serious, respectful debate. By reading and studying this Haggadah, the seder leader can best teach (a prime seder commandment) a love for Israel to all present.
A moving afterword regarding the Gaza war concludes the Haggadah.