Rabbi brings magic to Passover with Harry Potter hagaddah

Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg of Queens is the author of a new Harry Potter-themed Passover hagaddah


Harry Potter, the bespectacled boy wizard who stole the hearts of readers more than a decade ago, has finally received the Haggadah treatment, thanks to Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg. A teacher at Riverdale’s SAR academy, Rosenberg, who lives in Queens, is the author of “the (unofficial) Hogwarts hagaddah,” which incorporates the beloved children’s book series into the haggadah, a handbook to the Passover seder.

The Harry Potter theme is fitting, Rosenberg says, as it parallels many of the themes connected to the story of Passover itself.

“The entire Harry Potter series, and each book, contains many of the key elements and lessons of the Exodus story,” Rosenberg told the Forward last month. “Uplifting the downtrodden, sharing our current wealth and prosperity with others, education. The enthusiasm for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ really assured me that there’s still an enormous appetite out there for Harry Potter.

Thus far, Rosenberg’s project appears to have taken off, with the Harry Potter hagaddah already having sold 5,000 copies, according to the Forward.

Rosenberg assured Times of Israel that the Harry Potter hagaddah is not just a novelty item or curiosity but “a fully functional haggadah, with the complete Ashkenazi Hebrew text and English translation, so it can be used at any number of sedarim.”

Response to the hagaddah has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Rosenberg told Times of Israel, adding that his family has been “supportive and enthusiastic from the get-go.”

In addition to his Harry Potter haggadah, Rosenberg is the author of 2011’s Morality for Muggles: Ethics in the Bible and the World of Harry Potter, a work exploring moral lessons that can be gained from the Harry Potter books.

Rosenberg said he is delighted his new hagaddah has been such a hit with children.

“The whole purpose of the seder is to engage and teach the next generation,” he said, “and this is serving that purpose.”

04/04/2017 5:31 PM by Menachem Rephun

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