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A Colorful Passover

Thursday, March 31, 2016

There are many beautiful and colorful haggadot in the Library's collection, but every year Los Angeles professor, Rabbi Richard Levy, brings his class in to examine the Polychrome Historical Haggadah for Passover. This haggadah was edited by Jacob Freedman and published in 1974. I asked him what made this particular haggadah so special. He explained that different passages are printed in different colors to show in which time period they originated. He continued, "It also shows what a pastiche the Haggadah is, combining snippets from different times and interweaving them skillfully.  Being aware the of the chronological patchwork also helps put various Haggadah passages into context." Freedman had also been working on a similar project with the sidur, but sadly died before it was completed.

 You can find this and many other Haggadot  in the HUC library. Older works are shelved under BM 675 P4 and newer works under BM 674.6-BM 674.79. Generally, they will be shelved in this order: “traditional” (Hebrew), “traditional” (translations), “non-traditional” (i.e. Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, other), and then adaptations for children.

For more information on Haggadot and Passover resources. Check out our guide.