A Look at Some of the Most Striking Haggadahs Ever Produced

A sumptuous new book collects 100 examples of decorated and illuminated haggadahs from across Europe, Israel, America, and beyond.

From the cover of Signs and Wonders: 100 Haggadah Masterpieces by Adam Cohen. The Toby Press.

From the cover of Signs and Wonders: 100 Haggadah Masterpieces by Adam Cohen. The Toby Press.

Observation
April 19 2018
About the author

Marc Michael Epstein is professor of religion and visual culture and director of Jewish studies at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination (2011) and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts (2015).


Among the customs of the Passover seder is the practice, early on, of breaking the matzah that occupies the middle position in the ritual stack of three on the seder plate. As if the participants were slaves, unsure of when they will find their next meal, the larger of the two “halves” is hidden away, to be consumed after the meal, while the smaller piece is first raised and then put back in place but remains exposed while the account of the Exodus is recited.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Haggadah, Passover, Religion & Holidays