My Haggadah: The Book of Freedom
The Song of David is a limited edition, two volume perfect facsimile edition of the Haggadah David Moss was commissioned to create.The large folio edition (12″ x 18″) was printed in up to 15 colors and gold stamping under the supervision of Martino Mardersteig at the Stamperia Valdonegain Verona, Italy.It contains all the papercuts, gold illumination, applied mirrors, moving parts, fold outs of the original.
It is strictly limited to 550 signed and numbered sets.
The facsimile itself is bound in full leather. The accompanying companion volume of the same large format contains the full page by page commentary by Moss in Hebrew and English printed in fine letterpress. The companion volume, bound in linen, also contains a full reference reprinting of the whole Haggadah in duotone.
The set of the two volumes is housed in a linen covered slipcase trimmed in leather.
The former Librarian of Congress has called the printing of this set:
the tour de force of printing of the twentieth century.
The Deluxe Artist’s Edition has been revised, and now consists of two volumes. Volume I includes all the color images of The Moss Haggadah printed on fine 185 gram acid-free paper, which has the look and feel of parchment. Each copy is personally signed by the artist. All the paper cuts of the facsimile editions are now included. The mirrors are hand applied, just as in the original, on the Historical Reflections page.
Volume II is the complete and revised commentary in both English and Hebrew, covered in matching cloth. Both volumes are housed in a matching slip case and include the separate frameable paper cut of the image “Let all who are hungry come and eat”.
Current price: $595. Kindly contact us for further information or to place an order.
This is a complete reproduction of The Moss Haggadah in one volume, with both images as well as David Moss’s extraordinary commentary. It is printed on fine 185 gr. paper, and bound in blue cloth with gold stamping. The mirrors on the Historical Reflections page are stamped silver. Each book is in a matching cloth covered slip case and includes a separate frameable paper cut of the image Let all who are hungry come and eat.
Current price: $195. Kindly contact us for further information or to place an order.
These 4 single-page images from the Haggadah are available as art prints. These prints were produced to the same quality standards as the The Song of David Facsimile Haggadah. Each print (13” x19” ) is printed on acid-free paper and placed in a folio.
PRICE: $90. each + Shipping.
Details for each print:
The Tree of Life. This image is the first image of the Haggadah. It about the Exodus as pure potential; every beginning contains the whole in potential. The border of this initial page of the book, thus contains the complete text of the earliest known Haggadah.
The Set Table or Table of Content, known in the Haggadah text as Shulhan Orekh. The image of the table is set for the Levy family for whom this Haggadah was created. The image is surrounded by fine micrography, containing biblical passages.
Eating of Afikoman. A charming custom of the Kuristani Jews was to bind the ketubah to the bride’s arm. From this developed the practice of binding a piece of Afikoman to the arm of the son they wanted to marry off during the coming year.
Ten Plagues. For the oppressed, whether Jew or Gentile, the plagues and the Exodus forever remain the definitive statement that the ultimate power is God’s alone, that any usurper of the power, any man who claims absolute authority over his fellows, ultimately has a truly Absolute Power to reckon with. The story of each plague, from Exodus, is in the fine micrography.
Historical Reflections Print. The text, ”In every generation a person must see himself as if he personally came out of Egypt” is the central theme of Passover. This 16” x 20” image is printed just as in the Song of David Facsimile Haggadah, and contains images of historical Jews through the ages. When the Haggadah is closed, all the Jews are looking at themselves in the mirror opposite. As the Haggadah opens, each individual begins to contemplate each other, their historical and future selves. When the book is open, you, the participant, are contemplating yourself in the mirrors and truly seeing yourselves among all the generations of Jewish history. The mirrors are hand applied and are reflective. This image is the full double opening, as in the original Haggadah.
It is a limited edition of 500 copies, signed by David Moss. $200 + SHIPPING.
“A HAGGADAH FOR OUR TIME…”
In 1980, Richard Levy, a collector of antique Judaica, sat in his Florida home with the artist David Moss. Levy was familiar with Moss’s work having followed his career for close to ﬁfteen years. A bold idea was conceived at that meeting: as Moss had successfully revived the art of the illuminated Hebrew marriage contract, why not attempt the same for the hand-made Passover Haggadah? The work envisioned was to be an entirely hand-written and hand-illuminated manuscript on real animal vellum, fairly large in format and traditional in style. Beyond that Moss had a completely free hand.
The project, originally envisioned to take a year, ended up consuming three years of Moss’s full-time efforts. Half that time was spent on research in libraries and museums on three continents. The research and execution of some of the pages required several months.
In October, 1988, the most deﬁnitive exhibit on the Hebrew book ever assembled opened at the New York Public Library. Of the thirteen most important and beautiful Haggadah manuscripts shown only one was created after 1717: The original Moss Haggadah.
In 1985, Neil and Sharon Norry saw a photographic copy of the Haggadah and began pursuing the idea of publishing it. Moss agreed on the condition that the reproduction be faithful to the original in every respect: size, color, detail and special techniques. The owners of the manuscript generously consented to cooperate with the ambitious project, and Bet Alpha Editions was established to create a deluxe, limited edition facsimile of the Moss Haggadah that would be as indistinguishable from the original as human craftsmanship and modern technology could attain.
After an exhaustive search, the artist and publishers entrusted the production of the facsimile to what they consider to be the ﬁnest printing establishment in the world, the Stamperia Valdonega of Verona. (For background on this press, see the New Yorker ‘Proﬁle’ of July 11, 1970 and the Encyclopedia Britannica article on G. Mardersteig.) The original manuscript was borrowed and remained in Italy for over a year so that the separations could be made directly from its still unbound folios and each page could be consulted and matched by the printer and artist at every stage.
The paper was made especially for the edition by the Cartiere Fredrigoni of Verona. The abundant gold leaf was reproduced by hot gold foil stamping, then the color printing was accomplished in up to thirteen colors to exactly match every shade of the original. The printing was done on a single color press with some of the sheets going through the press some twenty-ﬁve times. Between each pass, the sheets were returned to a special humidity and temperature-controlled chamber to assure absolutely perfect registration.
Since Moss did not originally intend for the manuscript to be reproduced, he made free use of many special techniques. For instance, the original contains lacy cut-outs incised with a surgical scalpel. The delicacy of these cut-outs made die-cutting impossible. Only one place in the world could be found to accurately reproduce the sharp edges and fragile connections of these pages. They were, therefore, printed and shipped to California where they were cut by precision laser, then returned to Italy to be bound with the other sheets. The facsimile volume was completed in Milan by the Recalcati Legatoria which bound each book in full leather and hand-applied the mirrors, tiny book, seal and hinged cup to each exemplar.
The sources, background and ideas which make up this Haggadah are as important to the work as its graphic treatment. Consequently, each facsimile is accompanied by a companion volume containing a detailed, page by page commentary written especially for the edition.
The production was completed and A Song of David, the facsimile of the Moss Haggadah was published just before Passover of 1987. Printing experts consider the result to be technically among the ﬁnest books of its kind every produced.
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, in his book, The Jewish Way, calls the Moss Haggadah:
A magniﬁcent work of art, possibly the most beautiful Haggadah of all times…
And Aumie Shapiro, reviewing the facsimile in the London Jewish Chronicle, said:
When I handled it, I trembled because what I saw was, in my view, the greatest Haggadah ever produced.
Most of the ﬁve hundred copies of the edition were sold within the ﬁrst year of publication. They have been purchased by the rare book rooms of major libraries, museums and institutions such as Princeton, Yale, Duke, Harvard, and Stanford University libraries, the New York Public Library, the British Library, the Getty Museum, the Yeshivah University Museum, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College libraries. Most copies, however, have been purchased by private individuals. Some families have acquired a copy for each of their children.
In November of 1987, the White House purchased a copy of the facsimile. President Reagan signed the Haggadah and presented it to President Chaim Herzog as the United States’ ofﬁcial gift on the occasion of the ﬁrst state visit of an Israeli president to the U.S.
A set of the facsimile pages was left unbound so that the entire work could be displayed. This exhibit opened in 1987 at the Yeshivah University Museum in New York. It has since been shown at Temple Emanu El in San Francisco, The Widener Library at Harvard University, Temple Beth David Miami and Temple Israel, Boston. The Library of Congress has also featured their copy of the facsimile in the exhibit From the Ends of the Earth.
In 1989, a trade edition of the Haggadah was published by Bet Alpha Editions. Notecard reproductions have been published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
In 1992 Moss was awarded the Israel Museum’s Jesselson Prize for Contemporary Judaica for, among other work, his Haggadah.