It is a commandment of the Torah to tell of the miracles and wonders which happened to our forefathers in Egypt on the Fifteenth of Nissan as it is said:
Remember that day when you went out from Egypt
Rambam, Laws of Hametz and Matza, Chapter 7
This evening at sundown in households of friends and many I consider family that commandment will be obeyed. The house will have been prepared, the Passover table will be set, the Matzot and Seder Plate will be placed before the Leader of the Seder, who will open their Haggadah and begin the first blessing.
Two years ago I wrote about the incredible wealth of Haggadot that have been created over the centuries to guide observers through the rituals and ceremonies of the holy days. One of the most famous is the 13th century Birds’Head Haggadah created in Southern German by a scribe known as Menaham. It is the first illustrated Haggadah known to be produced as a separate manuscript from the prayer book. The strange practice of replacing human heads by those of animals and birds can be found in Ashkenazi manuscripts of the 13th and 14th century. It is widely believed that this was to honour the admonition against portraying human figures. At least one scholar has argued that the figures are meant to present the Jewish people by the mythological griffin – a symbol of strength, strong will, and majesty.
Though ownership is currently being disputed the manuscript has been in the collection at the Israel Museum for over 70 years and is often displayed during Passover. The Museum has produced a pop-up Haggadah for children – and adults – using illustrations and scenes from this remarkable document.
(Click to begin the slideshow)
(A short homemade video)
The Passover Seder
Wishing you all the joys of the Passover holiday!
To you and those you hold dear!
May you be blessed with
Happiness, prosperity and peace
And good health at this Passover and always!
Chag Pesach Sameach – Gut Yomtov – חַג שָׂמֵחַ
On this day in 837: Halley’s Comet makes its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles).