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Old Hope


My parents collected haggadots for Pesach. Many are now in the library. It is a thin, tattered Haggadah printed in Hebrew and Czech. It was dated 1898 by a note hidden inside.

My mother was not sure if it was a gift given by her aunt, who, like my mom, is from Prague, or a book she found in a shop on a visit after the Iron Curtain came down.

One is bound in metal and has full-color illustrations. It’s full with Chagall prints, illustrations and Hebrew text. There’s also this one that just made its way to my hands:



The cover simply says “Haggadah For Pesach.”

The first time I opened the envelope, I saw nothing unusual. The book is bilingual in Hebrew and English. The text tells the story of Exodus using traditional quotes and narrative snippets.

The graphic design of the brochure is very neat. The interior flyleaf is a stylized print with swirls and florals, cups of red wine and bunches grapes. Every page is decorated with vines, flowers and bunches of grapes.

When I looked at a picture on the page, I realized that this haggadah was different. You had to have known I was going…

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