JBuzz Features April 5, 2012: Passover Seders: 18 Haggadahs To Retell The Exodus Story

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Passover Seders: 18 Haggadahs To Retell The Exodus Story

Source: Huff Post, 4-5-12

Haggadah Passover

Why is this book different from all other books?

The Haggadah — a Jewish ritual book used on the holiday of Passover to tell the story of the biblical Exodus from Egypt — has some 7,000 iterations, reprinted and retranslated perhaps more than any other Jewish book.

This year, Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander published their “New American Haggadah” (as editor and translator, respectively) hoping to set the new standard for “intellectually and aesthetically satisfying” Haggadahs. The art, commentaries and new translation are remarkable, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the New American Haggadah is the timeline that runs across the top of each page, telling the history of the Jewish affair with this text.

The timeline — just like the Exodus from slavery — doesn’t end. Someday, there will be a New New American Haggadah. For now, though, there are thousands of versions to choose from. Here is a round up of some of the most interesting.

Birds’ Head Haggadah (1200s)

The earliest known illustrated Ashkenazi Haggadah, the Birds’ Head Haggadah gets its name from the fascinating depictions of humans with birds heads, thought to be a result of strict compliance to the Jewish prohibition against graven images.
The earliest known illustrated Ashkenazi Haggadah, the Birds’ Head Haggadah gets its name from the fascinating depictions of humans with birds heads, thought to be a result of strict compliance to the Jewish prohibition against graven images.
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