A Child Eating Matzah, Europe
This is a nineteenth-century European postcard featuring a photograph of a boy eating matzah and standing next to two sacks of matzot. The title is Ma Nishtana Halayla Hazeh (How is this night different from other nights?), one of the four questions from the Haggadah which is usually recited by children. The Four Questions raise the unique features of Pesach which include eating matzah.
The postcard was part of a set of postcards published at the end of the nineteenth century, illustrating the Jewish festivals in Western Europe. These postcards were used as greeting cards for the New Year. To look at other New Year’s greeting cards, click here.
This postcard could be used in a Jewish Studies lessons in preparation for Pesach. Teachers could highlight the importance of children as the focus for the tradition of telling the story of the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt. This postcard could also be used in a lesson about matzah to be followed by a matzah-making workshop.
Describe the postcard.
Look at the boy’s clothing. Which country do you think he was from?
What shape are the matzot in the photograph?
Are they similar or different to the ones you buy today?
Why do you think this is so?
Does the boy look happy to be eating matzah?
Do you like matzah? Do you like eating it at Pesach?
This postcard was originally printed as a Shana Tova card.
What do you think about this choice of picture for a New Year’s greeting card?
Read the Hebrew writing on the top of the postcard.
Do you notice any mistakes?
Search a Haggadah or the internet to find the other three questions of the Ma Nishtana. Design your own Pesach greeting card using one of the four questions.