- Richard Perry/The New York Times
In my family, the only reasonable excuse for missing a Passover Seder would be the sudden contraction of swine flu, or at least an inescapable kidnapping. Even for us secular, mostly non-practicing types, Passover is a High Holy Day, and you just don’t mess with the possibility of making your grandmother use the D word (“disappointed”) in reference to her grandchildren. Unfortunately, Bruce Springsteen’s touring schedule didn’t align with the Jewish calendar this year, so some Jewish Springsteen fans had to find a creative way out.
Enter the “Rock n’ Roll Haggadah.” Warren Rosen, the owner of an insurance company who had been to around 200 Springsteen shows since 1980, held a special Seder before the Boss’ Madison Square Garden performance last Friday. In a private ceremony at a restaurant on the upper level of MSG, 18 people, including an E Street band member, observed Passover with a customized, Springsteen-themed Haggadah. They even sang “Matzoh Ball” in honor of the occasion, a slightly altered version of Springsteen’s hit “Wrecking Ball.” Archivists have taken interest—the Museum of Jewish Heritage has now requested a copy for its collection, reports the New York Times.
Abby R. Spilka, the museum’s associate director, said in a telephone interview that the Haggadah, designed by Mr. Rosen’s wife, Jane, captured a sense of “tradition in a modern context.”
After reading an article about the Seder in The New York Times on Saturday, Ms. Spilka wrote an e-mail to Esther Brumberg, the museum’s senior curator of collections, to gauge interest in acquiring the Haggadah. “Sounds nifty,” Ms. Brumberg replied, before reaching out to Mr. Rosen.
“We collect artifacts of contemporary Jewish life,” Ms. Spilka said. “There’s a threshold question of: Would we regret not having this?” [NYT]
Springsteen fans aren’t the only ones who have found Seder alternatives to celebrate tradition in a modern context. The Hip Hop Haggadah is quite catchy, and Michael Rubiner’s two-minute Haggadah remains a perennial favorite.