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Rothschild Haggadah

Rothschild Haggadah


Passover Haggadah according to the Ashkenazi rite.

Manuscript on parchment. Northern Italy. ca. 1450. 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.

The so-called “Rothschild Haggadah” or “Murphy Haggadah” has a fascinating history. Until 1939 it 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 Jewish National and University Library (now the National Library of Israel) where it is now preserved.

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.