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COMING SOON Bez"H
Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)
The word הגדה comes from והגדת לבנך, tell your children on that
day... The Haggadah was initiated by
the Anshei Knesses Hagedola, the supreme council of sages that
ruled during Temple times in Jerusalem. Although the minimal fulfillment of
this Mitzva is a simple recounting of the going out of Egypt and explaining a
few of the Pesach symbols, appropriate fulfillment requires much more. To
enhance this Mitzva, over time additions have been made to the Haggada—many of which
gained wide acceptance that they became part of the Haggada. The additions include
Chad Gadya and Dayeinu. R’ Saadia Gaon (882-942) had neither Dayeinu
or Chad Gadya in his Haggadah, although he did recognize the existence
Rashi (1040 - 1105) as well as the Rambam (1138-1204) didn’t include Chad
Gadya in their versions of the Haggadah, although Rashi did include Dayeinu.
In the Machzor Vitri, R’ Simcha of Vitri, includes sections which we
don't say today. Although Rashi himself didn’t say them, they were said in
Provence, France in his day.
The changes of the Haggadah came to an end in the
late middle ages, aided by the invention of the Printing Press, which enabled
the basic Ashkenazic version which had been endorsed by the Arizal to be
accepted even in Sephardic communities.
The text is based upon the Haggadah of R’ Amram Gaon,
who headed the Babylonian Yeshiva of Sura between 856-876. This text was
endorsed by Rashi. R’ Amram's Haggadah concluded with the after blessing on the
fourth cup of wine. It didn’t include Chasal Siddur Pesach. Different Piyutim
(poetic prayers) were added to the Haggadah of R’ Amram Gaon, including Chasal
Siddur Pesach, Az Rov Nissim,
Ki Lo Naeh Ki Lo Yaeh, Adir
Hu, Echad Mi Yodea and Chad Gadya.
merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close
to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt
has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives
with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes
and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of
The first known printed Haggadah as we have it today was made in
1485 in Venice, Italy.
This was authored by R’
Yannai, the ninth century Rebbi of R’ Eliezer Hakalir. A later custom reported
by Maharil (circa. 1365-1427) adds the words: ויהי בחצי הלילה before
the words אז רוב נסים.
The earliest known inclusion
of Chad Gadya—of whom we don’t know the author—is in Sefer Rokeach
(1160-1238). Hundreds of explanations have been written on it. The Chida (1724-1806)
writes that the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797) wrote more than ten different
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