I have no idea why anyone would want to use a corporate branded Haggadah at the seder table. It’s like printing Coca Cola on your Sefer Torah or putting a Yankees logo on your Talit. But Maxwell House has spent time pushing its Haggadah on people who are too cheap to buy one that doesn’t come from a corporation.
And now Maxwell House is touting its new release of a Haggadah for people who were really worried about gender roles in the Haggadah. Meet the new Maxwell House Tranny Haggadah.
In 5771, the “King” was overthrown.
The King is G-d so yeah… overthrowing Him sounds like a great entry to a religious holiday.
As part of a revolution in both linguistics and religious practice, the Maxwell House Haggadah, a staple of countless Jewish homes on Passover for 80 years, has been given a modern makeover. The new version, which was distributed in stores nationwide last week, drops the familiar phrase “King of the universe” in blessings, in favor of the gender-neutral “Monarch.”
Also missing in the new version of the Haggadah are most male-centered pronouns and possessive words that refer to God, as well as other gender-specific phrases. Think Four Children instead of Four Sons.
The Four Sons come from the Torah. And Hebrew is a gender specific language. I assume that means they changed the text of the translation, not the Hebrew, which figures since anyone who doesn’t understand that the four sons are a metaphor, and not actual sons, probably can’t read Hebrew anyway. Or maybe they changed the Hebrew.
But what about trannies? Is the new Maxwell House Haggadah tranny friendly? What about fat friendly? What’s it carbon footprint?
Why did Maxwell House choose to pander to PC morons like this? Because it’s aiming at what it thinks is a new demographic. Goodbye grandpa, hello inclusive seder that is a metaphor for gay liberation and the historical experience of black slavery.
Except that’s stupid and not just in the obvious ways. Maxwell House went into this to promote the use of its coffee to families who observed Passover by getting rid of their chametz. How many of the PC Klan bother with that? And how many of them are going to treat Maxwell House as some kind of tradition. They’re not, because Passover seders are a wacky tradition that they get in and out of, between Tibetan meditation and progressive vomiting for the rainforest. If they’re going to have coffee, it’s going to be from Whole Foods.
Instead Maxwell House alienates Jews who actually celebrate Passover.
No. The latest Maxwell House Haggadah also has expunged antiquated words like “thee” and “thine,” and added up-to-date graphics and photographs.
Up to date? Exodus pie charts. AP wire photos of the exodus. How do you have up to date photos of an event that happened thousands of years ago?
“It was time — language has evolved. We want people to sit [at the seder table] and have an idea of what they’re saying,” said Elie Rosenfeld, who, as CEO of the Joseph Jacobs advertising agency, coordinated the yearlong production process for the new Haggadah
Then maybe it’s time Maxwell House evolved by firing the Joseph Jacobs advertising agency and replacing it with a Jewish ad agency instead. Or a non-Jewish one that respects Jewish tradition.
“It’s 2011,” said Henry Frisch, a retired high school teacher — he taught a Bible as literature course — who did the translations for the new Haggadah. His goal: a Haggadah “more comfortable for American Jewish families.”
Wow. I’m glad Maxwell House and Jacob Joseph went all out to hire a retired high school teacher to do their translation because he at one point taught a literature course. What was Plan B, pay a homeless bum 50 cents to do it for them? The respect and dedication here are overwhelming to behold.
How about just replacing the Haggadah with Jonathan Livingstone Seagull? That would be much more comfortable for the target demographic that wants gender neutral language.
In an age when flashy graphics and the latest expressions are so instantly available with click of a computer mouse, centuries-old English and male-particular wording were considered outmoded for most Jewish American homes; change was inevitable.
In an age when blah blah blah… a Haggadah isn’t going to be able to compete by going tranny. Watering the Haggdah and its traditions down makes it less competitive.
But all the changes, Frisch says, are faithful to the intent of the Hebrew words. “It’s not non-Orthodox.”
That’s exactly what it is.
“This is not a feminist Haggadah,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s a very much, all-inclusive Haggadah.”
No a feminist Haggadah would celebrate the major role that women played in Jewish life in Egypt and resistance to slavery. That would be a good thing. This is inclusive, which means it’s gibberish.
“The focus on gender-free language has become widespread in America, and is non-controversial,” said Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.
Yes it is controversial. If it weren’t, Maxwell House’s PR machine wouldn’t be cranking all this spin out.
There is nothing revolutionary about the revision. The upgraded … Haggadah shows how traditions can be harmonized with contemporary practice without losing their essence.”
Upgraded? Are we talking about a computer here. How do you upgrade an ancient text? By using words like “harmonized” in sentences, when what you actually did was change language you didn’t like in line with your political sensibilities while eroding the meaning of the tradition?
Also obvious was adoption, whenever possible, of language that is not gender-specific, especially when referring to a Deity who is not gender-specific. “Everyone should be comfortable using the Haggadah,” Frisch said.
Rewriting the Haggadah for inclusivity makes those who don’t share your revisionist agenda uncomfortable.
The new Haggadah cites “the strict Guardian of promises to Israel” instead of “He, who observeth strictly his promise unto Israel.”
Not only isn’t this an improvement, it destroys the poetry of the original and changes its meaning.
A Strict Guardian is not the same thing as one who strictly observes a promise. And you idiots have the nerve to mock the translation in the original.
A phrase in the Hallel (prayers of praise) excerpt from Psalms praises God “Whose glory is above the heavens” instead of a previous rendition, “His glory is above the heavens.”
Whose glory is it? We don’t know. Could be anyone. Not G-d, that’s for sure. No G-d allowed in the Maxwell House Tranny Haggadah.