The Newsletter of Fig Tree Books LLC
April, 2020: Issue #5
Fredric D. Price, Founder & Publisher
This Night Is Different From Other Nights: Planning A 2020 Virtual Passover Seder 

by Aly Walansky

The Passover Seder is all about gathering family and having a dinner steeped in tradition. This year, as families and friends cannot be together, that’s going to look a little different.
WE'VE ADDED A BLOG TO FIG TREE BOOKS: See what we have to say and give us your two cents!

Click on the BLOG image to reply to what we've written or compose something on your own about the state of literature (Jewish or otherwise), book publishing in general, or a specific book that you want to let others know about.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES: Safekeeping by Jessamyn Hope

Safekeeping is a profound and moving novel about love, loss, and the courage it takes to keep starting over.

* Winner of the J.I. Segal Award/2016 Mona Elaine Adilman Award for Jewish Fiction on a Jewish Theme
* Finalist for the 2016 Ribalow Prize
* Finalist for the 2016 Paterson Fiction Prize
"It is interesting to grow up in an old world family with new world ideas. My childhood dinners were created by eyes looking back at recipes thousands of years old, but also forward toward the wonders the future might bring. I was told from a very young age that I was Jewish, but that was all the information I received from my family. Like many others raised in a non-religious household, by the time I was an adult, the only associations I had with Judaism were my grandparent’s food and language: Molokheya and Judeo-Arabic. What could be more Jewish than that?"
Sinai and Synapses offers people a worldview that is both scientifically grounded and spiritually uplifting. It provides tools and language for learning and living to those who see science as their ally as they pursue personal growth and the repair of our world.
DON'T BE SHY: SEND US A QUESTION & ANSWER IT YOURSELF: And win the chance to get a free set of our books!

Each issue, we'll publish one question and answer from readers. Now here's the cool part: if we select your Q&A, we'll send you free copies of all our books that were published prior to January 1, 2020.
The winning Q&A (from Robert Friedman):

Q: At the Seder on Passover the text we use is called a “Haggadah”. The word means “telling”. Why are we enjoined to tell and discuss the Passover story at the Seder rather than sitting back in a comfortable chair and reading quietly about it?
A: Exodus 10:2 tells us, “And in order that you should tell into the ears of your children and grandchildren… and you will [all] know that I am your G‑d.” Note the inclusionary style, “And you will [all] know.” When one relates a story verbally, it allows the communication to become a two-way street where the themes and messages inherent in the story come to life for both parties - the one who is telling the story and the one who is listening.
The purpose of retelling the Passover story is not meant to be passive or dry. Rather, it is intended for the story to become a part of the individual. Through telling the story and discussing it with family and friends who have gathered to celebrate, each individual is able to experience the exodus in his or her own way. Unlike other mitzvot, like the Shofar on Rosh HaShana or taking the four species on Sukkot, which are monolithic, the mitzvah of telling the story is highly personal. The more effort one puts into the task, the greater the experiential reward. 

For many of us, the practice of getting ready for the seder includes not only the preparation of the unique and delicious foods and drink, but also studying the text of the Haggadah in order to derive meaning and insights, which are then conveyed and collegially discussed on this most joyous night of the Jewish calendar.
Passover, by Abigail Pogrebin

"I pore through books about the Haggadah and peruse various
modern Haggadahs along with online build-your-own-Haggadah
sites featuring readings and blessings you can customize. I’ve learned
that a Haggadah is not fixed like the siddur—the daily prayer book—
whose name, similar to seder, comes from the word order.”
 Click on the shopping cart to purchase a new copy of any of
our books, for less than what you'll pay elsewhere