There is a new Jerry Seinfeld Haggadah available now just in time for this year’s Passover Seder. It’s called “The Haggadah About Nothing” and was written by Rabbi Sam Reinstein. But of you do not celebrate Passover remember, there is always Festivus for the Rest of Us.
So how is this Haggadah different from all of the others? “The Haggadah about Nothing” by Rabbi Sam Reinstein features commentary and parody connecting the Haggadah, the Exodus story, and other Jewish texts to the nine seasons of the seminal show, Seinfeld. As Seinfld himself might put it: “What’s the deal with a Seinfeld Haggadah?” “What do Seinfeld and Pesach have in common?”
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The Haggadah has the full Hebrew text surrounded by commentary connecting it to Seinfeld. There are tons of Seinfeld references in the translation, and the illustrations relate Seinfeld to the Haggadah. All Seinfeld content is used purely for commentary and/or parody.
It’s unfortunate, however, that the show itself never did anything about Judaism or the Jewish holidays. We never did get to see Jerry Seinfeld celebrating Passover, Hanukah or Purim. The closest we got to the religion was the Schindler’s List episode.
So maybe the question we should be asking here is why Seinfeld? What does Jerry Seinfeld have to do with Passover that is so special or different from any other Jewish comic?
Well Rabbi Reinstein told the NY Post that he loves he sitcom and saw a connection to the holiday. “I love Passover and I started to map out a surprising number of overlapping themes and undercurrents between the two.” And the rabbi sees a connection between Jerry and the Seder saying, “Jerry is so clearly the wise son: He cares about the rules and wants to do the right thing.”
“The show reveals that if you don’t change, you wind up in jail,” he added. “But in Exodus, if you do change, you’ll be free. Conceptually, it really is the same idea and same overall meaning. If you don’t try to move forward and evolve, then you’ll be [condemned to be] the ‘Seinfeld’ characters; if you do, you’ll be free on Passover.”
Rabbi Sam Reinstein was ordained at Yeshiva University, and received his Masters in Philosophy at Revel Graduate School. He is the Rabbi at Congregation Kol Israel in Brooklyn, and a trained Actuary. He lives with his wife Hannah, and their three children Leon, Sophia, and Miriam in Brooklyn where he makes more puns and TV references than are reasonable.