Monday, April 06, 2015

A Haggadah from 1527

This year, I printed out a Haggadah from JNUL from 1527 to use for the seder.

1527הגדה של פסח. רפ"ז. פרג
[הגדה של פסח : עם ציורים].
(פראג : גרשם בן שלמה הכהן, כו טבת רפ"ז).

Here are a few interesting things I found in it.

1) The rabbit hunt.

It has kiddush three times. The first for a regular seder. The second for a seder on Friday night. The third for a seder on motzei Shabbos. The illustration for that third type of kaddesh has a picture of a rabbit hunt (bottom of page):

The reason is that the order of brachos is Yakzehaz (yayin kiddush ner havdalah zeman). And the German "jag den haz" means "hunt the hare". (Recall that German j is pronounced /y/.)

2) Early Photoshop:

By Chacham mah hu omer, the pasuk ends אתכם, just as in our Masoretic text. Meanwhile, the Mechilta on this derasha has אותנו, as does the Septuagint and (I think) the Dead Sea Scrolls.

But wait a minute! Look carefully at that word in this Haggadah. I'll zoom in:

Look at how long the ת is. Look at the roof of the ת and how it used to be split. Look in the middle of the ת and see the rubbed out initial leg.

They took ות and changed it into a ת.

Look also at the rubbed out kamatz. And look at the end of the word, how squeezed the כם. They have overwritten נו with כם!

This seems to be based on an earlier version (woodcut?) where it had אותנו but because they believed this to be an error, they corrected it to match our masoretic text. (Unless this was done after printing...)

And here is the unedited version, from another Haggadah printing (I think from later) without the correction. For this section, it is a match, even unto the placement of the letters, except for this correction.

With אותנו:

With אתכם, in our Haggadah:

3) But they missed v'atzum:

Yet a bit later, they missed correcting ועצום, which is found in both the Samaritan text and in the basic midrash in the Sifrei, though not in our Masoretic texts (I discuss this point here.)

(To look at the other Haggadah we used for comparison above, see this:)

4) Illustrated Revava Ketzemach Hasadeh:

This is the sort of thing that would be unlikely to be included in many modern Haggadot.

(As to the propriety of including this in a Haggadah, consider the justification found in Pesachim 116a.)

Look at that wild growing hair. This is presumably as a demonstration of ושעריך נכונו. However, considering the context of שדים נכונו, it seems likely that simple peshat in the pasuk is that it is referring to pubic hair.

5) Point to one's wife

They mention a custom of pointing to one's wife (or a woman) when reaching maror zeh, as a pasuk states isha raa mar mimaves. See this post at the Seforim blog for a greater discussion of this "custom".

6) The Shefoch Chamascha is missing a bit

in the middle. I checked though and R' Shmuly wasn't behind this.

7) Beis Hamikdash instead of Beis Habechira in Dayenu:

But in the following, sum-up paragraph, it is what we expect, namely Beis Habechira.


yaak said...

Many Sephardic Haggadot also have "המקדש" - not "הבחירה".

Baruch Yuabov said...

Dear J. Waxman

The most interesting parts of Haggadah is not noticed by you unfortunately.
Ribbi and not Rabbi
Hagefen and not Halogen
Abandon Hainu has 3 differences with masoretic text Devarim6:21 and is identical to Septuagint

And many many more
Read The Scholars Haggadah by Heinrich Guggenheimer

Hag Sameach

Baruch Yuabov said...

Avadim Hainu

joshwaxman said...



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