Dalsheimer Rare Book Exhibit
The Haggadah is a compilation of excerpts from the Bible and rabbinic
literature and includes prayers and hymns. In celebration of the Exodus
from Egypt, it is recited at the Seder service on the eve of Passover.
The text is often accompanied by art work depicting or interpreting
the Passover story and its message of freedom.
The Library's extensive collection of manuscript and printed editions
from Europe, Asia, and the Americas includes the First Cincinnati
Haggadah (Germany, 15th century) and the Second Cincinnati Haggadah
(Moravia, 18th Century).
|First Cincinnati Haggadah
| This magnificently illuminated work on parchment was
produced in Germany in the late 15th century by Meir Jaffe ha-sofer,
a copyist, illuminator and renowned leather tooler.
The word YaKNeHaZ is an acronym comprised on the initial
letters of five Hebrew words: Yayin (wine), Kiddush (santification),
Ner (light), Havdalah (separation), Zeman (time). It indicates
the correct sequence of blessings when the eve of Passover
coincides with the conclusion of the Sabbath. The abbreviation
sounds similar to the German phrase "jag den Has" (hunt the
hare), and is the motivation for hare hunting scenes in illustrated
|Second Cincinnati Haggadah
| This "sister to the Van Geldern Haggadah
was produced by Moses Loeb Ben Wolf from Trebitsch, Moravia,
The miniatures are in oil paint on parchment and are based
on the engravings found in the printed Amsterdam Haggadah
of 1712. It is currently on display at the Jewish Museum,
New York City.
Copyright © 1997 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
made possible through the generous bequest of Sadie Klau