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Who wrote the Haggadah?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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It is unclear who composed the Haggadah, but retelling the story of our Exodus from Egypt is a Biblical commandment1 and has always been part of Jewish history and the Holiday of Passover.

Some say the formal Haggadah was first composed in Talmudic times, and some say it was actually composed by Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi, complier of the Mishnah.2

Others say the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah already authored a formal Haggadah including Torah verses and rabbinical liturgies (in pre Talmudic times). The sages of the Talmud then enhanced the Haggadah with additional liturgies, and by the end of the Talmudic era the basic Haggadah as we know it today enjoyed widespread use.3

Various supplementary hymns were added in later years, and those hymns aren't (necessarily) found in all Haggadahs.

Footnotes

  • 1. Exodus 13:8
  • 2. See the Malbim Haggdah - Targum Press.
  • 3. Source: Sefer Otzar Yisroel p. 104

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Holidays » Passover » Seder » The Haggadah

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Haggadah
Text read at the Passover Eve feasts. The Haggadah recounts in great detail the story of our Exodus from Egypt.
Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.
Mishnah
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.