Focus Questions

What does this object make you think of?  Does it remind you of something you have seen before?

Which part of the object do you notice most?   Describe what you can see.

Why do you think this object is used?

Have you noticed...Where the story starts and finishes? Click to reveal answer

The story starts on the right hand page. Hebrew is read right to left so the book starts on the right and finishes on the left.

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Haggadah

Haggadah

This Haggadah was made in 1756.  A Haggadah is a book used on the festival of Passover.

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The Object

Object name: Haggadah
Date: 1756
Catalogue number: JM 639a
Material(s): leather and parchment
On display in the Jewish Museum? No

  • A Haggadah book is used at Seder meals during the festival of Passover.  Passover is an important Jewish festival that happens once a year and remembers the story of Moses. 
  • Look closely at the Haggadah, the pictures tell us how to prepare for Passover and for Seder night.  Seder happens on the first and sometimes also the second night of the festival of Passover.  On that night family and friends gather together and tell each other the story of Moses. 
  • The picture at the bottom of the right hand page is a man with a child and a candle inside a room.  This refers to a traditional game played by parents with their children the night before Passover starts.
  • During Passover you are not supposed to eat any leavened food, this food is known as Chametz.  The night before Passover begins parents and their children search by candlelight for any Chametz that is left in the house.  Often a parent hides a piece that the children can find.  Once the house is clean and has no Chametz left inside the family are ready for Passover to start.
  • Look closely at the pictures on the left hand page.  These show the steps to follow on Seder night.  There is a set order to follow on Seder night and this order has been the same for thousands of years.  There are 12 drawings that link to the 12 instructions in the columns either side of the drawings.  Remember Hebrew is read right to left, so read the right column top to bottom first and then the left column top to bottom.
next page of the haggadah

Turn the page of the Haggadah. This beautifully illustrated page shows the ten plagues.

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The Story

The Scribe
This Haggadah was created by the scribe Abraham Sopher in Ihringen, Germany in 1756.  Abraham Sopher was a very efficient and professional scribe who is also the illustrator and illuminator.  There are 27 parchment pages which are beautifully illustrated with water-colours.

There are three languages in this Haggadah; German, Hebrew and Yiddish.

The History
There is no owner recorded for this Haggadah.  An inscription in the Haggadah tells us that it was sold in a bookshop.  The inscription also tells us that the scribe, Abraham Sofer, made many other beautiful Haggadah books which he sold.

Digital Takeaway

Download this PDF about celebrating Passover.

Celebrating Passover PDF