Imagine your most irreverent friend – the one who maybe eats a BLT on matzoh during Pesach, because “at least it’s not bread.” Yeah, what if you let him lead the seder this year? For This We Left Egypt?, a new haggadah by humorists Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, and Adam Mansbach, is kind of like that. It’s a seder lovingly and thoroughly editorialized by a Greek chorus of your Borscht Belt grandpa, your South-Park-loving brother-in-law, and the dog sneaking brisket under the table.
Among the pleasures of For This We Left Egypt? is a list of plagues that includes Jerry Lewis, parodies of the extensive footnotes found in other haggadot, advice to keep snacks in the bathroom during the long stretch when nobody gets to eat, “discussion questions” (“Would you store grain in a bathroom? Why or why not?”), and thirteen additional cups of wine (“There is no point in letting perfectly good wine go to waste.”) For all its silliness, For This We Left Egypt? also communicates the story of Passover more thoroughly than most haggadot, by a pretty wide margin.
So as the authors recommend, pour yourself a Long Island Iced Tea (and one for Elijah) and as your family seder reaches its third hungry hour, keep this slim volume in the bathroom (with your snacks) for sustenance.
April 6, 2017