Image of woman participating in the Passover seder from the Darmstadt Haggadah, published in the Jewish Heritage Online Magazine, ed 27, March/April 2000.

Link to http://www.jhom.com/topics/passover/darmstadt.html or http://www.jhom.com if this edition is no longer posted.

Description of this image from Jewish Heritage Online Magazine:

" Women are rarely mentioned in most Passover haggadot, as in the mishnaic period, the Passover meal was attended only by men, and the haggadah was created for fathers to relate to their sons and for teachers to instruct their students (who were only male). The haggadah illustrator (from the 13th century) sought to bridge this gap, given the considerable social differences between the period when the text of the haggadah was compiled and the time the illustrations were first conceived. Illustrations of women, girls and even servant girls begin to appear in the medieval haggadah as participants in the seder, and in galleries of biblical figures. In 15th-century haggadah illustrations we meet a new type of woman, the woman who has learned to read and who holds her own book. This sight was not ususual in a period when fictional and edifying literature was being developed in Judeo-German and other Jewish dialects specifically for a female audience. The Darmstadt Haggadah is an example par excellence of this development: the reading women are particularly zealous in their activity, perhaps even to the point of exaggeration."

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