Haggadah shel Pesah

This haggadah was the first to include a map of the Holy Land

Abraham bar Jacob

In 1695 the flourishing Jewish community of Amsterdam sponsored the creation of a lavish illustrated Haggadah by a proselyte scribe, Abraham bar Jacob. This haggadah was the first to include copperplate engravings, replacing the cruder woodcut illustrations of earlier editions. The Amsterdam Haggadah's illustrations, many of which were borrowed from the Swiss engraver Mathaeus Merian, were widely imitated in the centuries that followed, both in printed works and manuscripts, in Europe and America.
The highly influential Amsterdam Haggadah was also the first to include a map of the Holy Land. The map was a Hebrew translation of an earlier Latin map by the Dutch theologian Christian van Adrichem, eliminating all references to the New Testament. Bar Jacob’s map introduced novel imagery relating to the deliverance of the Ancient Israelites from Egypt and their journey to the Land of Israel; for example, an eagle is pictured with the inscription: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.” (Exodus 19:4) At lower left, a beehive and cows are included, representing the biblical promise: “I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up …unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8)
These unusual images justify the innovative inclusion of a map in the Passover haggadah, by making the relationship between the Exodus story and the Land of Israel explicit. They also allude to the hoped-for return to Zion expressed at the end of every Passover Seder with the words “Next Year in Jerusalem.”
This haggadah was a gift from Steven Tulsky from the collection of his late father, Dr. Alex Tulsky. Dr. Alex Tulsky was an obstetrician at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital who delivered as many as 5,000 babies. Alex Tulsky was married to Dr. Klara Glottmann Tulsky, and together they endowed a lectureship at Spertus Institute.

Name: Haggadah shel Pesah
Artist: Abraham bar Jacob
Origin: Amsterdam, 1712
Medium: Black Ink On Paper
Credit: Gift of Steven Tulsky
Catalog Number: Unfiled
Asher LibraryDie Amsterdamer Hagada 18 Abbildungen aus dem Kupferstichdruke der Passah-Hagada

Facsimile edition (Berlin : Verlag für jüdische Kunst und Kultur F. Gurlitt, 1920)

External ResourceThe National Library of Israel website

Complete scan of the book