This is a page from the Rothschild Haggadah that ends with the verse “Next Year in Jerusalem” לשנה הבאה בירושלים written in a very large letters. The text is written in similar lettering to a Torah scroll and appears in both red and black and is elaborately decorated. There appear to be some stains on the page. These could be wine or food stains, as the Haggadah is read at the table as part of the Passover Seder. It looks as if there was once an illustration on the side of the page, but this has faded. The writing from the reverse side can be seen through the parchment page.
The words “Next Year in Jerusalem” highlight the connection between Jews in the Diaspora and Jerusalem. They signify the hope to see the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the end of the dispersion of the Jewish People around the world. In most modern Haggadot, these are the final words of the Haggadah. However, in this Haggadah, the final page features a toast in Yiddish after the blessing over the fourth cup of wine “נו טרינק אוש” which means “Now drink!” The Rothschild Hagaddah concludes with the words “Slik Mah Nishtana” (the end of the Mah Nishtana); it was customary among Ashkenazi communities to refer to the Hagaddah itself as Mah Nishtana.
The Rothschild Haggadah is from northern Italy and is dated around 1450. It seems that the scribe who wrote the Haggadah was named Yehuda, because his name appears on the top of one of the pages. The Haggadah also contains a number of illustrations on the sides of the pages. The illustrator was Joel ben Simeon. The illustrations in the Haggadah give us a glimpse into the lives of Italian Jews in the fifteenth century.
Like in other Hagaddot from the period, the songs "Echad Mi Yodea" and "Chad Gadya" are omitted. It is possible that these songs had not yet been written or were not well known at the time.
The Haggadah is called the Rothschild Haggadah because it was owned by the Rothschild family until 1939. During World War II, the Haggadah was stolen by the Nazis and subsequently disappeared. After the war it was purchased by Dr. Fred Murphy, who bequeathed it to the Hebrew University in 1948. In 1980 the Haggadah was identified as the property of the Rothschild family and returned to its owners, who then donated it to the National Library. The Haggadah was missing three pages; two of these pages recently turned up at a public auction and were purchased by the National Library.