Bronfman’s Haggadah, which is illustrated with watercolors by his wife, Jan Aronson, includes quotations from such goyim as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and there is no Hebrew in it. God is depicted as an “energy,” as opposed to an anthropomorphic deity, and Moses plays a starring role (traditional Haggadahs usually minimize mentions of Moses, to emphasize God’s, not man’s, role in freeing the Jews).
Aronson’s illustrations attempt to capture these departures. In her rendering, the burning bush is not really on fire. “I figured Moses was trying to decide what he was going to do with his life,” she said. “And he went out to tend to the sheep, either at sunrise or sunset, and the light was coming through the bushes, and he was meditating. And it dawned on him that what he should do is go back to Egypt and take care of the business that was left. And so it wasn’t a burning bush per se.”
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, the first Asian-American rabbi in North America, summed up the new Haggadah’s approach to Judaism to the crowd with a quotation from “The Book of Mormon” (the Broadway show, not the religious text). “It’s a metaphor!” she said, and then she led the room in the singing of “Oh Freedom,” a Negro spiritual.
Passover with Edgar Bronfman, Sr., and His Haggadah : The New Yorker. These three paragraphs are … I don’t even.