Pitts Theology Library | Exhibits | Haggadah

Haggadah Collection (April 2009)

Why is this night different from all other nights?

An Exhibition of Passover Haggadah Texts from the Richard K. Goldstein and the Rabbi David Geffen Collections


Haggadah or "telling" fulfills the commandment that each Jewish family teach their children the story about the Jewish deliverance from slavery in Egypt, an event which has become the paradigmatic symbol of liberation from oppression.

Since the telling of this story is the central part of the Seder or Passover celebration, there is an abundance of Haggadah texts that contain the narrative as well as the prayers, rituals and songs that accompany it. Although the structural arrangement of these books is generally the same throughout history and across different cultures, there is a beautiful diversity in the way this information is presented. A Haggadah (pl. Haggadoth) may be as ornate as the famous Sarajevo Haggadah or it may be as simple and practical as the Maxwell House Haggadah, which the coffee company has been issuing annually since 1922.

In 2008, the Pitts Theology Library received two Haggadah collections from Richard K. Goldstein and from Rabbi David Geffen. The two collections combine to form one of the largest collection of Haggadoth in the South.

Traditional order of the Seder

Kiddush - Blessing and first cup of wine
Urchatz - Washing of hands
Karpas - Vegetable dipped in salt water (representing tears of affliction)
Yachatz - Breaking of the middle matzah (larger piece is hidden for afikomen)
Magid - Narration
Ha lachma anya - Invitation to the Seder
Ma nishtanah - Four questions (why is this night different ¿)
The four sons (good, wicked, simple, too young to ask)
Go and learn (Expounding of Deut. 26:5-8, 10 plagues)
Kos sheini - Second cup of wine
Rochtzah - Washing of hands
Motzi Matzo - Blessing over the matzo
Koreich - Sandwich (matzo and maror or bitter vegetable)
Shulchan Orech - The meal (traditionally beginning with a hard boiled egg)
Tzafun - Eating the afikomen (hidden matzo)
Bareich - Grace after meal
Kos Shlishi - Third cup of wine
Kos shel Eliyahu na-navi - Cup of Elijah the prophet
Nirtzah - Songs and prayers that the night's service may be accepted
L'shanah haba'ah birushalayim - Next year in Jerusalem

American Haggadoth

Regelson/Forst Haggadah 1955 HAGG A
Passover Haggadah: a Faithful English Rendering by Abraham Regelson, illustrated by Siegmund Forst (New York: Shulsinger Brothers, 1955).

1955 HAGG A

This Haggadah published in New York by the Shulsinger Brothers was translated by the Hebrew poet, author and translator. The illustrations by Siegmund Forst are well known and have influenced many 20th century Haggadoth.

Reconstructionist Haggadah 1978 HAGG B
The New Haggadah for the Pesah Seder; edited by Mordecai M. Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and Ira Eisenstein for the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation (Rev. ed., New York: Behrman House, 1978).


This Haggadah was prepared by Mordecai Kaplan, founder of Reconstructionist Judaism.

American Heritage Haggadah 1992 HAGG A
American Heritage Haggadah: The Passover Experience; compiled and edited by David Geffen ; English translation by Moshe Kohn; introduction by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Jerusalem: Geffen Publishing House, 1992).


The text of this Haggadah in Hebrew and English translation is supplemented by anecdotes, pictures and facsimiles documenting Jewish life in America.

Maxwell House Haggadah 2006 HAGG
Passover Haggadah; Brought to you by the Maxwell House Family of Coffees (New York: Maxwell House, KF Holdings, Inc., 2005).


It is not uncommon for businesses to issue a complimentary Haggadah for Passover. Probably the most famous of these is the Maxwell House Haggadah, published annually since 1922.

Freedom Seder 1970 HAGG
The Freedom Seder: a new Haggadah for Passover by Arthur I. Waskow (New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston; Micah Press, Washington, 1970).


An American Haggadah inspired by the civil rights movement of the late 1960s. A copy of this Haggadah "was used in a Freedom Seder held on the third night of Passover, April 4, 1969, the first anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, in the basement of a Black church in Washington DC. About 800 people took part, half of them Jews, the rest Black and white Christians. The Freedom Seder was welcomed by tens of thousands of Jews, and soon became the model and stimulus for many Haggadot that made the Passover Seder an affirmation of the liberation of its celebrants - feminist Haggadot, environmentalist Haggadot, antiwar Haggadot, vegetarian Haggadot, pro-labor Haggadot." (Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 2005) http://www.shalomctr.org/node/899

Israeli Haggadoth

Ze'ev Raban Haggadah 1955 HAGG B
The Pessach Haggadah with a Revised English Translation and 36 illustrations by Ze'ev Raban (Tel Aviv: Sinai, 1955).


This Haggadah from Tel Aviv was reprinted numerous times and was issued in Hebrew and English as well as a variety of other translations. The illustrator Ze'ev Raban (1890-1970) is widely considered one of the founders of the modern Israeli art world.

Pre-Independence Israeli Haggadah 1948 HAGG A
(Tel-Aviv: s.n., 1948).


Passover began on April 23 in 1948, three weeks before Israel declared independence (May 14, 1948). This Haggadah was prepared specifically for use by military units.

Kibbutz Haggadah
1979 HAGG G
Drawings and lettering by Shemuel Katz (Merhaviah: Hashomer Hatzair, 1979).


Haggadah issued by the Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz. While this Haggadah preserves the order and content of a traditional Haggadah, some portions have been modernized and several new passages dealing with spring and agricultureal renewal have been added. For example, the passage Avadim Ha-'inu deals the the redemption of Israel in modern times. There is also poetry by medieval and modern Jewish poets, as well as a reference to the modern Amalek-Nazi Germany.

Israeli Haggadah
2002 HAGG
An Israeli Haggadah, Mishael Zion, Noam Zion (Jerusalem: Keter, 2002).


A very popular Israeli Haggadah, produced by the father and son team Mishael and Noam Zion. The cover image illustrates their wish to bring the different cultures and social components of moder Israeli society into conversation.

Mouth or Foot Painting Artists of Israel Haggadah 1996 HAGG E
The Haggadah of Passover (Petach Tikva: Mouth or Foot Painting Artists of Israel, 1996).


A bilingual Hebrew-English Haggadah, illustrated by Israeli mouth or foot painting artists.

Golden Haggadah of Jerusalem 1986 HAGG C
The Haggadah of Passover; illustration Jossi Stern, calligraphy: Noah Ophir. (Herzlia: Palphot, 1986).


The golden Haggadah of Barcelona is a 14th century illuminated Hebrew manuscript, known for its rich use of gold leaf. The modern "Golden Haggadah of Jerusalem" alludes to the rich heritage represented by this work as well as the theme of "Jerusalem of gold," a reference to a special piece of jewelry mentioned in a tamudic legend about Rabbi Akiva, which has found many expressions throughout Jewish history, including a popular modern Israeli song "Jerusalem of Gold".


Portuguese Haggadah 1994 HAGG C
Hagadá de Pessach: com tradução para o portuguêse ilustrações; tradução para o português, Schmul Asher Begun ; revisão de texto, Geni Koschland ; ilustrações e layout, Zalman Kleiman; editor, Yosef Friedman (2a ed.; São Paulo: Associação Beneficiente Cultural Lubavitch, 5754/1994).


A bilingual Hebrew and Portuguese Haggadah from Brazil, issued by the Hasidic Lubavitcher movement.

German Haggadah 1936 HAGG A
Die Pessach Haggada; herausgegeben und erklärt von E.D. Goldschmidt (Berlin: Schocken Verlag, 1936).


A rare Hebrew and German Haggadah, printed in Berlin in 1936, three years after Adolf Hitler assumed power.

Romanian Haggadah 1989 HAGG
Hagada: Povestirea ies¿irii lui Israel din Egipt pentru uzul primelor doua seri ale pesah-ului (Tel-Aviv: Editura Sinai, 1989).


A bilingual Hebrew and Romanian Haggadah printed in Tel Aviv. The basis for this Haggadah is the version illustrated by Ze'ev Raban (see Israeli Haggadah in case 1).

Russian Haggadah
1995 HAGG

¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ (Jerusalem: Avida, 1995?).


Since the 1970s, over one million Jews from Russia and other former Soviet states have made aliyah (immigration to Israel), prompting a growing need for Russian language Haggadoth.

Spanish Haggadah 1962 HAGG
Hagada de Pesaj con notas explicativas y textos originales por Morris Silverman; disenada e illustrada por Ezequiel Schloss (Hartford: Prayer Book Press, c1962, 1968 printing).


A bilingual Hebrew and Spanish Haggadah issued specifically for Mexican-Jewish immigrants to the United States.

Famous Haggadoth

Rylands Haggadah 1988 HAGG
The Rylands Haggadah: a Medieval Sephardi Masterpiece in Facsimile; introduction, notes on the illuminations, transcription, and English translation by Raphael Loewe. (New York: Abrams, 1988).



The Rylands Haggadah is an illuminated manuscript from mid-14th century Catalonia (northeast Spain). The original is held by the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.

Sarajevo Haggadah 1973 HAGG E
edited and introduced by Cecil Roth (Belgrade: Jugoslavija Publications, 1973).


The Sarajevo Haggadah, held by the Bosnian National Museum in Sarajevo, is an illuminated manuscript from mid-14th century Barcelona. It is the oldest Sephardic Haggadah in the world, and considered by many to be the most beautiful illuminated Jewish manuscript in existence. The recent historical novel People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is a fictionalized account of the history of this manuscript.

Modern Adaptations

Santa Cruz Haggadah 1991 HAGG D
The Santa Cruz Haggadah: a Passover Haggadah, Coloring Book, and Journal for the Evolving Consciousness; writing, calligraphy, and art direction, Karen G.R. Roekard; artistic interpretation and illustration, Nina Paley (Capitola, Calif.: Hineni Consciousness Press, c1991).


This Haggadah, produced in Santa Cruz by Karen Roekard and Nina Paley, is an example of a modern, non-traditional Haggadah. Reflecting the influence of New Age spirituality, it seeks common ground with groups who are marginalized, like the homeless, or discriminated against on account of their age, gender or sexual orientation. It contains all of the required prayers, blessings, and songs in traditional and transliterated Hebrew, but employs gender neutral language and avoids using the name of God.

San Diego Women's Haggadah 1980 HAGG D
San Diego Women's Haggadah; edited by Jane Sprague et al. (San Diego: Woman's Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, 1980).



A first edition of a highly influential feminist Haggadah. The liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt is directly linked to the liberation of women as the editors suggest that the seventh night of Passover is the time "when we could rest and recline as free women." The traditional four questions are directed at four foremothers, including the biblical judge Deborah ("Mother, why is this night different from all other nights?", Beruriah, a scholar from the rabbinic period, Glückel of Hameln, a medieval businesswoman, and Hannah Senesh, a martyr to Zionism during the Holocaust.

Vegetarian Haggadah 1988 HAGG E
Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb; Roberta Kalechofsky (Marblehead, Mass.: Micah Publications, 1988).


This Haggadah was adapted for use at a vegetarian Seder and to reflect the concerns of animal rights activists.

Children's Haggadoth

Leningrad Children's Haggadah 1996 HAGG G
The Leningrad Children's Haggadah; preface by Adin Steinsaltz (2nd ed., St. Petersburg: Petersburg Jewish University; Jerusalem: M.I.R Russian Jewry Heritage Center, [1996?])


Children are an integral part of Passover, it is a commandment to teach one's children about the Exodus from Egypt, and the youngest child asks the question "Why is this night different from all other nights?" In a creative project that seeks to explore not what children can learn but what children can teach about Passover, this Haggadah is based on drawings made by children at a Leningrad Jewish school.

Israeli Children's Haggadah 1973 HAGG G
illustrated by Shmuel Katz (Tel Aviv?: Medor Ha-Ganim Ha-Benkibutsi, 1973).


A condensed Haggadah with pictures by the Vienna-born Israeli artist Shmuel Katz, a frequent illustrator of children's magazines.

Bamba Haggadah 1999 HAGG B
Illustration by Mike Rozental (Tel Aviv: Osem, 1999)


Haggadah issued by the Israeli food company Osem. Bamba is a best-selling peanut flavored snack and the strongest children's brand name in Israel.