Thursday, April 2, 2009
Do you read the Haggadah?... Duh!
I've run into this gallery of historical editions of Haggadah books in the Yale library online collection. According to wikipedia, the first printed editions of Haggadah were printed at the 15th century.
By reading the Haggadah in the Passover dinner, we retell the story of Exodus and celebrate the liberation of the Jewish people. As we are commanded by the bible, we must not forget the miracles that God performed in Egypt that saved the Israelites from enslavement by the hand of Pharaoh. The story of Exodus must be told to our children for generations to come - "You shall tell your children"
The people who gather around the Passover Seder table to read the Hagaddah take an active part of the retelling of the biblical story by singing traditional songs such as ma nishtana, eating ceremonial foods, and searching for the afikoman. This story has a great religious significant: following the escape from Egypt, in the Sinai desert, the Israelites received the Torah from the God of Israel.
Furthermore, the liberation of the Jewish people from their oppressors is a story that repeated itself again and again throughout History.
Now let us move on from historical Haggadah to a modern one: in the image above, a Haggadah book by Israeli Judaica designer, Jack Jaget, who has become known for his designed editions of the bible that are truly astonishing.
You can also find an online edition of the Haggadah.