The best books are the ones with pictures, especially Haggadot. One of our family’s favorite Seder traditions is comparing the pictures or drawings of the Four Children. Some of the Haggadot we use have collections of drawings and artistic images depicting the wise, rebellious, simple and unable-to-ask children.
The agenda and biases of a particular artist or editor can be most clearly seen in looking at the rasha’, the rebellious child. As the symbol of evil, the way this child is portrayed is indicative of the mindset of the one who draws him (and more recently, even her) into existence. How many different expressions of the rasha can have you seen? I encourage you to bring a Haggadah from home to services on Shabbat morning for some “show and tell.”
But I’d be willing to wager that in just about every Haggadah ever published, that depiction appears once, and then the rasha’ is gone. Not so in Jordan Gorfinkel’s Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel, which we learned about last month. In fact, he and artist Erez Zadok have the rebellious child on several pages. If you have a copy of Gorf’s new Haggadah, bring that to shul as well. We’ll look at the way the rasha’ is dealt with in those drawings, and we’ll be able to draw some great conclusions about Gorf’s agenda and biases.
And speaking of drawing, we have a special treat for you–the final product of the cartooning workshop that Gorf facilitated at the end of his visit. You can find it here, and be proud of the talented bunch who put it together!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and Hag Kasher veSameah,