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March 4, 2021 11:54 am
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New Haggadah Links Marvel Superheroes to Passover Story

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

“The Superhero Haggadah: A Story of Signs and Marvels.” Photo: Yair Rosenberg.

An English-Hebrew haggadah published on Monday features original artwork, commentary, and conversation starters that draw on the Marvel universe of superheroes to tell the story of Passover.

“The Superhero Haggadah: A Story of Signs and Marvels,” by Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, is based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the Infinity Saga films — 23 interconnected movies that began with “Iron Man” and ended with “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

Rosenberg used the Marvel stories to discuss topics also addressed in Jewish texts, exploring themes like, “How is the Passover seder plate like a time machine? What makes a true superhero? And is guilt actually a Jewish super power?”

The haggadah “reveals uncanny connections to the classic Passover story. From time travel to teaching, internal demons to external enemies, exile to homecoming, and Talmudic sages to cinematic superheroes, you’ll discover commonalities you never considered — and may just unearth your own super powers along the way.”

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Rosenberg, a teacher at SAR Academy in the Bronx and the leader of Congregation Etz Chaim in Kew Gardens Hills, New York, also published the 2017 best-selling “Unofficial Hogwarts Haggadah,” inspired by J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosenberg was undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer, which left him “weak, fatigued and emotional,” he wrote in the book’s introduction. To lift his spirits, his seven children “composed a watchlist of Marvel movies and proceeded to watch them with me.”

“I began to see the very human issues that these augmented humans had to face: exclusion, identity, responsibility, trust, maturity, guilt, and so many more. I started writing down these ideas,” he explained.

The 164-page book, which includes the entire text of the haggadah, also showcases original drawings by one of Rosenberg’s former students, seventh grader Moriel Hirsch-Hoffman. It is dedicated to essential workers, the medical community and first responders who risked their lives during the pandemic.

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