Librarian's Lobby
by Daniel D. Stuhlman

March 1997

Pesah 1997 Exhibit

I received a request to explain how to use some reference works, such as Encyclopedia Talmudit, Sdei Chemed, Sifrei haKlallim in my column. It is a great idea, but I am not prepared to it this month. Tell me what you would like to know about using media and library resources and I will address the questions in the April or May column. Since Pesah is coming up I wanted to call to your attention two topics-- Pesah information on the World Wide Web and a librarian's viewpoin t about Haggadot.

Pesah information on the WWW Here are some interesting sites that I visited recently containing Pesah information. The OU has their annual Passover guide on-line. As of today [March 1, 1997] they said the site is being beta tested . Version 1.0 is supposed to be ready in a few days. This site is constantly updated and by the time you receive this newsletter, the OU promises a better searching engine than the one I used today.

A bookseller offers some out of print haggadot for sale at:

Two articles on practical halachah can be read at: contains the article: The Mitzva of Guarding the Matzo. contains the article: Gebrokts - Matzah Soaked in Water on Pesach.

Empire Kosher offers the ArtScroll Haggadah free for each three proofs of purchase. For details go to

Beech-Nut has many kosher for Passover baby foods. For details go to Beech-Nut Product List By Category at:


Aside from the text that appears in the Talmud, the first haggadot for Pesah appear in the Siddur of Saada Gaon and Mahzor Vitry. The Library's collection of over 250 haggadot includes give-away haggadot from companies such as Carmel and Maxwell House to artistic haggadot worth over $500. The ages range from those published in 1997 to ones over 300 years old. Size range from a few pages in Hebrew to hundreds of pages with the text, translation, and commentaries. Cities of publication range from centers of Judaism such as Jerusalem and New York to small kibbutzim. We have traditional haggadot, haggadot aimed at children, and haggadot with a political agenda.

This range of material is a challenge for the librarian-cataloger. In the Library of Congress Classification system all haggadot are in the liturgy section. The number starts as: BM 675 P4. [BM 675 is for liturgy; P4 is for Passover] The challenge is to arrange the items so that a library user can find the one haggadah they are searc hing for. Some editors make the job easy by giving their version of the haggadah a special name such as, A feast of history, by Chaim Raphael or Why is this night different, by Zev Schostak. They are easily arranged by editor and date. Other haggadot are difficult because they have no distinctive title, editor or da te.

Since the purpose of the haggadah is to retell the story of the exodus, each editor tries to address a community need. For example Jewish chaplains produced mimeographed texts for soldiers to use, translations are prepared into every language that J ews use, and some Haggadot come with visual aids to help in the retelling of the story. Every year new versions appear making collecting Haggadot for individuals interesting and for libraries challenging

One haggadah published this year is: Haggadah from the four corners of the earth. (Edited by Bents Cohen and Maya G. Kellin, Tel Aviv, 1997) It has the Hebrew texts in the middle of each page with translations in English, Spanish, French and Ru ssian surrounding it. While the concept of uniting people of different language groups is great, I found the words too small the read comfortably. You could enjoy flipping through this haggadah, but it is not an easy one to use at a seder.

The Library has on display contemporary Haggadot for circulation and historical and valuable Haggadot in the closed display cases

Daniel D. Stuhlman is president of Stuhlman Management Consultants, Chicago, IL, a firm helping organizations turn data and information into knowledge. Previous issues of Librarian's Lobby can be found at: He can be reached via e-mail at:

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