"Next Year We will be Free Men"
Unconventional Passover Haggadot from the struggle to found the State of Israel
The exhibition will be open to the public, free of charge,
from March 22, 2018 to May 31, 2018.
Friday - 9:00-13:00
In honor of the 70th year since the founding of the State of Israel, the National Library of Israel will be presenting a special exhibition of 30 unconventional Haggadot that connect the story of the exodus from Egypt to the first Independence Day of the State of Israel- the day on which a vision and a dream became reality.
These Haggadot were created between 1940 and 1948 and were printed under difficult circumstances but they symbolize in a unique way, the Zionist idea, our connection to the exodus from Egypt and the struggle in the desert until the entry into Israel.
Unconventional Haggadot are a blend of the traditional, Orthodox text with Zionist and secular commentary. In the years before the founding of the state we see additions that focus on the suffering and tribulations that were faced in the process of building a state along with inspirational songs and texts in preparation of the big trials yet to come.
A portion of the Haggadot that will be featured in the exhibition are from the collection of the National Library of Israel and several are from the collection of Aviram Paz of Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek who has dedicated all of his energies into gathering and preserving Haggadot of Pesach from the period of the foundation of the state.
The exhibition includes Haggadot that were printed on simple paper on the machines that exited in the time of the World War II. They were largely distributed in the DP camps established for the survivors of the Holocaust. Other Haggadot were printed and distributed to the different battalions of Jewish soldiers serving in the British army, including the Haggadah of the women's battalion serving in Egypt. Additionally, included in the exhibition are special and minimalist Haggadot that were distributed amongst soldiers on the Passover holiday of 1948 that was celebrated at the height of the most turbulent battles of the War of Independence, including the battle of Nabi Yosha in the Upper Galilee, Operation Nachshon- the mission to clear the siege on Jerusalem, the struggle to secure Gush Etzion and more.
A special thank you to Aviram Paz, author of "The Egyptian Exodus: Then and Now," who contributed to this exhibition from his personal collections.