Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on the Politics of the Haggadah

The well-known rabbi looks at the link between freedom and monotheism in the the text accompanying the seder service.

April 19 2024
About the authors

A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture.

Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel and the director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. His website, containing all of his media appearances, podcasts, and writing, can be found at meirsoloveichik.com.

Podcast: Meir Soloveichik


Next week, Jewish families will sit at their seder tables and relive the drama of Jewish liberation from Egyptian oppression. The text used, the Haggadah, is one of the most widely read works of the rabbinic tradition. It has an inescapably national aspect, and its main themes, when seen in the right perspective, suggest to the rabbi Meir Soloveichik that it can be understood as a preeminent work of Jewish political thought: freedom and oppression, covenant and constitution, state and society, the nature of law and the dreams of a people.

Soloveichik discusses that and more here, in the first lecture in his eight-part course, “The Haggadah: A Political Classic,” which is available in full at meirsoloveichik.com.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.


More about: Haggadah, Passover, Religion & Holidays