National Library puts rare and historic haggadahs online

JTA — 13th-century Sephardic Haggadah from Catalonia, Spain. A 15th century haggadah from Prague. A 20th century haggadah from Fez, Morocco.

For the first time, a selection of some of the most historic haggadahs from the National Library of Israel’s Haim and Solomon Judaica Collection – the world’s largest collection of the book that guides the Passover seder, with approximately 15,000 at total – are available for download, free of charge.

One of the works is a 15th-century haggadah, originally from northern Italy, which later came into the possession of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a member of the famous French Jewish banking family, avid art collector and early supporter of Zionism.

During the Holocaust, the haggadah was stolen from the family by the Nazis. The book disappeared for many years but was eventually returned to the Rothschild family, who then donated it to the National Library of Israel.

“The National Library of Israel works tirelessly to ensure that our vast collection emerges from the ivory tower and is accessible to the public,” said collection curator Yoel Finkelman in a press release.

Read the story of the rest of the deals here.

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