Thursday Quotables: The (unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

The (unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah by Moshe Rosenberg
(published 2017)

I admit, this is an unusual choice for a Thursday Quotables post! I bought a copy of the Hogwarts Haggadah before Passover this year, and while my family didn’t use it during our Seder, we did think it was quite cute and entertaining. Here are a few choice bits:

From a section called Destroying or Defanging the Wicked?:

Ron could not understand why Harry, after rescuing the diadem of Ravenclaw and escaping the trap set by Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, would risk his life to go back and rescue Draco from the fiendfyre let loose by Crabbe in the Room of Requirement. But Harry, like Dumbledore the year before, saw more than a Death Eater-in-Training in Draco Malfoy. He believed that there was good in Malfoy that was worth saving, if only one could get past the threatening exterior.

The same attitude characterizes the treatment of the Wicked Son by some commentators on the Haggadah… [some technical numerology stuff goes here]… Take away the threatening but superficial fangs of the Wicked Son and you will see his true righteous potential beneath them.

Slavery Foretold – Prophecy and Choice:

At the end of Book Five, when he finally reveals to Harry the existence of the prophecy that Voldemort sought, Dumbledore makes clear to Harry that he need not fight Voldemort simply because the prophecy declared that “Neither can live while the other survives.” Harry still had a choice and, to him, that made all the difference. The very same point is made by Biblical commentators who ask why Pharaoh deserved to be punished if his enslavement of the Hebrews was foretold to Abraham. The Rambam (Maimonides) replies that Pharaoh was not bound to fulfill the prophecy, God could see to its fulfillment one way or another. Pharaoh had total freedom in choosing his path.

Bitterness: Where Do You Put It?:

Harry had much bitterness in his life. Deprived of his parents as a young child, his life at the Dursleys was misery. At Hogwarts, he was the target of both students and teachers through no fault of his own. And, of course, he was in constant life-threatening peril from the man who had killed his parents. If anyone had the right to feel embittered, it was Harry. And yet he showed that you can experience bitterness without becoming embittered. You can take the lessons of your suffering and use them to appreciate your blessings and spare others suffering. Voldemort and Snape would have done well to learn this lesson from Harry.

This could be a fun and cute way to share Passover with the young’uns, especially (obviously) if they’re HP fans.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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