Today is the last day of Passover. To celebrate this holiday as well as Easter, which is just around the corner, I wanted to share with you the special gift I gave my mom: a handmade Haggadah designed in scrapbooking style. Before I tell the significance of this gift a few words on what Haggadah is. Haggadah is the "instruction manual" for properly performing the Seder, the festive meal that is the highlight of the Passover festival. Haggadah means either "telling" or "narration" in Hebrew, and this refers to the fact that the central theme of the Haggadah is to tell or narrate the story of the Hebrews' Exodus from Egypt. The Haggadah consists of 15 steps or sections, within each step there are various rituals. The purpose of the Haggadah is to show that, like the Hebrews who listened and followed G-ds' will for them to leave their physical, political, and spiritual slavery in Egypt to eventually attain their freedom, in every generation, each individual and group - whether Jewish or from other faiths - has the potential to reach those same goals.
I made this Haggadah very special. I called it "Haggadah from Generation to Generation" with the intention of making it a family heirloom that will pass on in the family from generation to generation. It is all in Hebrew (from right to left) and I'm sorry I didn't translate it (it's very difficult).
It is all handmade, from the folding cover on the outside to all the pages inside. On the inside of the cover I wrote a verse from the book of psalms 78: "What he commanded our ancestors, they were to teach their children; That the next generation might come to know, children yet to be born".
The title on the first page is: Haggadah for Oly family. The Haggadah is usually a thin book with a lot of writing and a few drawings. In this Haggadah I combined the writing with family photos and embellishments that I tried to fit to the text. The first section is "Sanctify", so I added photos of my sister's wedding and mine.
One of the highlights of the Seder is the Four Questions, we are asking: What makes this night different from all other nights? To match the text I added a theme of change: a photo of me and my sister as children and two photos as moms with families.
This section talks about the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, so I embellished the page with birds outside of their cages.
The Haggadah speaks of four children: one wise, one wicked, one simple, and one who does not know how to ask. These four children represent different types of people. This is an important lesson in education: in order to be freed from Egypt (metaphorically) different people need different explanations to be convinced.
The first part of the Haggadah ends with a festive big meal. It is very long so I will post it in parts. We will go to eat and come back on Friday with a full stomach to see part two.
Happy Spring and Easter to everyone!