Ever since Gaddafy blamed the Libyan revolt on drag-laced NescafÃ©, I've been drinking a lot of instant coffee. (But so far, I haven't found the jar with the democratizing hallucinogens.)
And I ran out of powder just in time to buy some Maxwell House -- and get the free haggadah. For three generations, the coffee company has distributed the Passover service book as a promotional device (to overcome concerns that coffee not a legume, and thus forbidden at Passover) and it has become an established cultural feature, both affirmatively (used by Obama! and grandma!) and as a by-word of the conventional and stodgy. But this year Maxwell House has come out with a new edition, and so there's some buzz associated with it.
I'm not Jewish and have never been to a Seder. I'm just a liturgical magpie, and so I'll keep my observations brief.
- I'm kinda tickled that in this day a major company would still issue a squarely religious publication.
- But you can't find out a thing about it at the Maxwell House or Kraft site. Not even a press release.
- If there would ever be a Christian publication of a similar scope, it would have to be a collection of Christmas carols. I can't think of anything else that would be home-based, relatively uncontroversial and desirable in multiple copies.
- The text itself is notably gender-inclusive for God and human beings, which I gather is one of the changes in the new edition. Having seen the "gender wars" in Christian liturgy, I'd gauge the edits as moderatelyÂ euphoniousÂ and customary.
- On the other hand, if you'd like a freely-licensed haggadah, got to Haggadot.com or OpenSiddur.org.