Click here to download an English translation of the complete traditional Ashkenazic text of the Passover Haggadah. Cut and
paste to make your own Haggadah.
Below you will find some historical background on the
development of the Haggadah. This might guide you in creating your own Haggadah.
The Passover Haggadah developed
over more than a thousand years. The traditional Ashkenazic text of the Haggadah now includes about 5,500 Hebrew words, and
that's not including any commentary. The Mishnah (Pesachim chapter 10), the first code of Jewish law, compiled about the year
200 CE, prescribes a relatively limited number of requirements for the Passover Seder: eating matzah, bitter herbs, drinking
four cups of wine, a child’s raising questions about what makes this night different from others, telling the story
of the Exodus by expounding on "My father was a wandering Aramean," a passage from the book of Deuteronomy (now
this includes 26:5-8) giving the proper explanation for the ancient Paschal sacrifice, for why we eat matzah and bitter herbs,
and reciting the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). These minimal requirements are linked to others. For example, drinking wine requires
a blessing and Jewish law prescribes the minimum wine for each cup, etc. (For a discussion of these requirements from an Orthodox
perspective see The Laws of the Seder by Rabbi David Feinstein, Mesorah Publications, New York, 2000.)
is that, from the point of view of Jewish law, there's plenty of room for creativity when it comes to the Seder. In fact,
the Haggadah says, "Whoever elaborates on the story of the Exodus deserves praise." That's why there are so many