Leaving Egypt: Illuminating the Exodus in Hebrew Manuscripts

  • religion
  • art
  • judaica
  • history
  • drawing & prints
  • manuscripts
  • cultural history

This exhibition focuses on portrayals of the Exodus narrative in important Hebrew illuminated manuscripts from the Museum’s collections, mostly Passover Haggadot, dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The images at times reflect rabbinic interpretations (Midrashim) not included in the biblical account − such as the depiction of Pharaoh surviving rather than drowning in the Red Sea. At other times, the illustrations contain elements evoking the contemporary reality in which they were created – clothing, customs, surroundings, or references to events. Thus the readers’ ability to relate to the deeply significant events of the past is enhanced, enabling each person – in the words of the Haggadah itself – “to see himself as if he had come out of Egypt.”

Read more about the exhibition here.