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Rothschild Passover Haggadah

​Manuscript. Northern Italy. ca. 1450. Parchment. 47 fols. 33.5 x 23 cm. Ashkenazi square script. Copied by a scribe named Yehuda. Illuminated by (or in the workshop of) the famous scribe-illuminator Joel b. Simeon.

Until 1939, the so-called “Rothschild Haggadah” or “Murphy Haggadah” was in the possession of the Rothschild family, but during World War II it was looted by the Nazis and disappeared. After the war, the Haggadah was acquired by a distinguished Yale alumnus, Dr. Fred Towsley Murphy who bequeathed it to the Yale University Library in 1948. In 1980 it was identified as a Rothschild manuscript and returned to its former owners who donated it to the National Library of Israel.
The manuscript was missing three leaves, probably detached before it was acquired by the Rothschilds. Recently, two of the missing illuminated leaves were offered for sale and were purchased for the Library through the generosity of two anonymous donors. This digitized version of the manuscript includes the two recently acquired leaves.

Like other Hagaddot from the period, the songs "Echad Mi Yodea" and "Chad Gadya" are omitted.

An Ashkenazi toast appears after the blessing over the fourth cup of wine (97). The Rothschild Hagaddah concludes with the words "Slik Ma Nishtana" (97) – it was customary among Ashkenazi communities to refer to the hagaddah itself as "Ma Nishtana".

An incomplete marginal note (65) indicates the name of the owner/illustrator was Shimshon and the name Yehuda also appears (50), probably referring to the copyist.