Illustrated Haggadah, Germany, 1756
This Haggadah, written in German, Hebrew, and Yiddish, was created by the scribe and illustrator Abraham Sopher in Ihringen, Germany in 1756. The Haggadah comprises 27 parchment pages which are beautifully illustrated with watercolours.
In the first image, the right-hand page contains the blessings for Bedikat Chametz, the search for and subsequent burning of chametz (leaven) before the start of Pesach. It is framed by two decorative pillars. Above the text is a frame held by two lions with the following text: "On the eve of the 14th [of Nissan] one looks for chametz and says the following blessing." The first letter of each blessing is illuminated and contains an image related to the custom. There is a sentence in Yiddish above the pictures at the bottom of the page which also illustrate the custom. The left-hand page features descriptions (in Yiddish) and illustrations of the various stages of the Seder.
In the second image, the right-hand page is from the Maggid section of the Haggadah in which the story of Pesach is told. The text here describes the ten plagues which are depicted [n1] on the opposite page. Underneath the text there is a picture of Pharaoh with sores on his body, presumably suffering from the plague of boils.
These pages can be used in Jewish Studies lessons when learning about Pesach or about the Book of Shmot (Exodus). They can also be used in Art classes as examples of classic Jewish art and German art in the eighteenth century.
Which book do these pages belong to?
Describe the illustrations on the pages.
What is the text on the pages?
This Haggadah contains texts in different languages. Which languages are they? Why do you think the Haggadah was written in so many languages?
The pictures illustrate the biblical story of the Exodus.
Do they match the biblical descriptions?
What do the lions on the top of the first page represent?
Compare this page with the same page from the 1892 Haggadah.
How are they similar or different?
Why do you think this is so?