In this beautifully written work, readers follow the imagined journey of the Sarajevo Haggadah, “a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript,” from 15th century Spain to present-day Sarajevo, Bosnia, following the clues of an insect’s wing, missing clasps, wine stains, saltwater, and a white hair.
For a start, most books like this, rich in such expensive pigments, had been made for palaces or cathedrals. But a haggadah is used only at home. The word is from the Hebrew root ‘hgd’, ‘to tell,’ and it comes from the biblical command that instructs parents to tell their children the story of the Exodus. This ‘telling’ varies widely, and over the centuries each Jewish community has developed its own variations on this home-based celebration.
But no on knew why this haggadah was illustrated with numerous miniature paintings, at a time when most Jews considered figurative art a violation of the commandments…. – from People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
Both websites enrich one’s reading of People of the Book.