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Haggadah is a religious text of Jews that lays down the order of Passover Seder. Read on to know about the Hagaddah of Pesach holiday.

Passover Haggadah

Haggadah is a religious text of the Jews that lays down the order of the Passover Seder. According to the spiritual commandment, each Jew is obliged to “tell your son” about the liberation of Jews from their slavery in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah (first three parts of Hebrew Bible, Tanakh). The Prague Haggadah, published in 1526, is widely referred to, due to the specific attention given to detail in lettering. it is also credited with introducing many of the themes that are still found in the modern texts. The Prague Hagaddah also introduced illustrations in the holy text for the first time, using them extensively in the edition.

Pesach Holiday Haggadah
It is believed that the Haggadah had been written in the post-Rabbi Yehudah bar Elaay (circa 170 CE) period. He is the last tanna to be quoted in the Haggadah. The text was complied by the time of Rav Nachman (mentioned in Pesachim 116a). However, there is a dispute over which Rav Nachman, the Talmud was referring to. While some say it refers to Rav Nachman bar Yaakov (circa 280 CE), there are others who believe the Talmud was referring to Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak (360 CE). The interpretation of the text is also debated by many.

Although the exact date of the compilation of the Hagaddah is not known, the Jewish tradition established that the text was compiled during the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods. The oldest and completely readable manuscript of the Haggadah till date is found in a prayer book compiled in the 10th Century CE, by Saadia Gaon. Only 25 editions of the text had been printed by the end of the sixteenth century. During the seventeenth century, the number of editions increased up to 37, thereby swelling up to 1,269 separate editions by the nineteenth century.

The main portion of the text of the Haggadah has continued to be the same as the original text, as mentioned in the original compilation. However, with the printing of newer editions, some additions were made to the last part of the text. Cumulative texts were added to the Haggadah in the fifteenth century. They gained instant acceptance and became a standard to be printed at the back of the holy text. The contemporary times are also witness to attempts of modernizing the Haggadah, with an eye to revitalize a particular text. However, Orthodox Judaism doesn’t approve of it.