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The meaning of the bitter herb, from the Sarajevo Haggadah
The meaning of the bitter herb, from the Sarajevo Haggadah

The Union Haggadah

ed. The Central Conference of American Rabbis


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Should enemies again assail us, the remembrance of the exodus of our fathers from Egypt will never fail to inspire us with new courage...--p. 34

This is the text of a Haggadah, a book which describes the Seder dinner service at Pesach (Passover). The moving, participatory ceremony remembers the story of the liberation of the Jews from Egypt. This edition is a Reform Haggadah published in the early 20th century in the United States. It includes practical notes about staging the ceremony, and an appendix which describes the historical context of the celebration.

This online edition includes all of the gorgeous black and white illustrations and initials, (credited to Isidore Lipton in the appendix). The printed edition includes the Hebrew text and about forty pages of sheet music which had to be left out of this online presentation for technical reasons. Incidental Hebrew in the English text is presented using Unicode.

Title Page
The Seder—A Foreword
The Union Haggadah
Rites and Symbols of the Seder
Directions for Setting the Table
Order of the Service

The Seder Service

Lighting the Festival Lights
The Four Questions
The Four Sons
The Story of the Oppression
The Passover Symbols
The Watch-night of the Eternal

After the Meal

Grace after the Meal
The Final Benediction
A Madrigal of Numbers
Ḥad Gadyo
Vay’hi Baḥatzi Halay'loh

Passover in History, Literature and Art

History of the Passover
Preparations for Passover
Survivals of the Ancient Passover
Passover and Christendom
Reform Judaism and Passover
The Haggadah