Thursday, February 28, 2019

Exodus and Emojis: New Haggadah Tells the Old Story, But Without Words

The Emoji Haggadah train keeps on rollin'.

Banji Ganchrow of The Jewish Standard asked some thorough questions, and she makes me seem like a smarty-pants professor who understands pictorial communication historically. Maybe I do, just a bit, but really, I was just having fun.

The article is quite nice. Please enjoy:

-Martin(i) Bodek

P.S. The book is rolling out to bookstores everywhere in a few weeks, but you can grab it here:, or here:

Thursday, February 21, 2019

At Long Last, the New, Improved Emoji Haggadah, 2.0!

It's been a long time coming, but finally we're here, and I thank you for your patience *while I rewrote the whole thing with a new emoji set*!!!

Ktav Publishing House is the publisher, and per their request, I added a How To Read guide, a Glossary, and a full haggadah text in the back.

Here's Ktav's link: (will ship faster, directly from the printer).

I anticipate this will enhance your Chag, so please avail yourself, and enjoy!

Now, I know there are some purists among you who still would like to get your hands on the 1.0 "Collector's Item." For you, supplies are dwindling fast. However, it still exists here:

1) My house. I got 3 left.
3) The YU Seforim Sale: additional copies will arrive next week, having sold out of my first batch, and having shift almost what's left from my stock.

And now, to celebrate the occasion, I'm going to sing a little song TTTO Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band:

It was about two years ago today
That this idea came up for play
Haggadahs go in an out of style
But this one's guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
What took blood, and sweat, and tears, and more
The Emoji
Haggadah, Two Point Oh

The Emoji Haggadah, Two Point Oh
We hope you will enjoy the show
The Emoji
Haggadah, Two Point Oh
Sit back and let the evening go
The world's one and only, the world's one and only
The world's only Emoji

It was wonderful to write this
Was certainly a thrill
You're such a lovely audience
I'd like this in your home with you
I'd like this in your home

There's lots inside for you to show
To kids, so they'll enjoy and grow
It'll keep them at the
seder strong
And they'll happily all sing along
So let me introduce to you
The one and only of its kind
The Emoji
Haggadah, Two Point Oh, yeah

 -Martin Bodek

Monday, February 04, 2019

How I Spent My super Bowl Sunday or What's going on with The Emoji Haggadah?

Thank you to the many of you who've asked. Wanna hear a super-condensed story?:

Before we headed off for our London/Amsterdam vacation, I made sure that any pending book edit was done, sent, not in the back of my mind, and the publisher wasn't expecting anything from me. As I stepped on the plane, I got the news that we're going to print. In my daydreams, I'd be returning to a different life, with all different kinds of new opportunities, positivities, book sales, and shangri-la.

Five days in, I get the following e-mail (highly, seriously, magnificently shortened version):

Pub: "Printed; problem."
Me: "!"
Pub: " you put the manuscript together doesn't render...yada yada yada...stand behind product...blah blah blah...need you to it like so, this plug-in, that emoji keyboard, this font, this size...something something something...need in 10 days lechatichila, 11 bidieved."
Me: "?"
Pub: "Hello?"
Me: "Na'aseh v'nishma."

But I was overseas, and had zero access to all these doodads on any device available. I had to wait until I was home, and had 7 days left, to begin testing.

Once home, it took a day to organize with the graphic desinger how this was all supposed to be done.

6 days left.

I spent nearly every waking minute editing, recreating the entire manuscript, from scratch, emoji by emoji, with a set that had 1,500 fewer characters than the original set, forcing me to be re-creative, which takes up a lot of head-room.

I lost a full day because I couldn't get a heter to be mechallel Shabbos.

I spent 6 hours Motzei Shabbos doing nothing but.

Shluffy: 1:15 AM.

Wakey: 6:15 AM. Got right to work, not stopping (save for a 40-minute break at 11 AM to daven/shower/breakfast/coffee and a 10-minute break at 2 PM to fix some lunch) until 7:15 PM, having completely recreated - in 6 days, ahead of lechatichila deadline - what had taken me two years to compile.

I then was finally able to watch the Super Bowl. I jumped in when it was 0-0 with 7:59 left in the 2nd. I heard the commercials sucked anyway.

My wife, God bless her, accommodated me in a million different ways, and created the space for me to put in this 13 hours of work. Thank you, Naomi.

Now I have, multiple times, run for 12 hours straight, but I have to put this feat of endurance up there alongside those. It's not the same physically, but I say it's the same mentally. You just gotta keep going, especially if you want something badly.

So *now* we're going to print, and here's my new cover! Coming to a book store near you!