From the Introduction: What is contained in this Haggadah?
In this Haggadah I have decided to mix both worlds that are precious to me—the passionate heart traditions of Hassidism and the possibility of achieving cosmic consciousness through Kabbalah meditation and visualization. Thus, at the beginning of the Haggadah I share a Hassidic legend of how an impoverished Hassidic master, with the power of his faith and convictions, was able to manifest a miracle. When the Haggadah continues with the initiation of the Seder—Kadesh,
the blessing of the wine—I begin to share and present a mystical commentary and meditation used by the Kabbalists to expand one’s mind and heart so that one enters into sacred space. Throughout the Haggadah I alternate between the Hassidic heart commentaries based on traditions from Eastern Europe such as the rebbehs of the Ishbizter-Radzin dynasty, the Tchernobel-Trisk dynasty, the Rizhiner-Husyatin dynasty; and the primary teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hassidism, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, and other masters of the heart.
Preceding most of the rituals, I offer a mystical meditation or a contemplative prayer from the following mystics: Rabbi Yosef Hayim of Baghdad—the Ben Ish Hai; Rabbi Isaac Luria; Rabbi Haim Vital-Calabrese; Rabbi Moses de Leon, the celebrated publisher of the Zohar; Rabbi Sar Shalom Sharabi, the ecstatic Kabbalah mandala
master; and reflections from the Zohar and mystical teachings from Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, the author of the acclaimed “SHALAH” (the acronym for Shnei Lukhot Habrit—The Two Tablets of the Covenant
The purpose of this montage of Haggadah traditions is to transmit a full spectrum of illumination that is embedded within these teachings; to show that it is worthwhile for seekers and practitioners to explore many traditions, and to extract those aspects that resonate with their souls so they may experience the maximum spiritual experience during this sacred holiday of Passover...
Excerpted from A Mystical Haggadah by Eliahu Klein. Copyright © 2008 by Eliahu Klein. Excerpted by permission of North Atlantic Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.