The Sephardic Heritage and Spanish-language resources of the National Library of Israel (NLI) are now accessible online.
These resources offer a sizable number of Sephardic Haggadot that can be downloaded just before Passover.
The Edict of Expulsion, signed on March 31, 1492, by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, ordered the Jews to leave Spain, where they had lived in prosperity for 800 years.
Following the Expulsion, Jews of Spanish descent founded settlements wherever there was a place of safety, including in Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and the Land of Israel.
They kept up their deeply ingrained traditions and continued to speak Ladino (Judeo-Spanish).
The NLI has developed a website devoted to the Jewish Expulsion from Spain to commemorate this historic turning point.
The website displays objects from its library of pre- and post-expulsion Sephardic manuscripts, early printed books, Ladino materials, poetry and prayers, and other oral histories.
These Passover Haggadot are included in the collection:
Spanish Haggada from the fourteenth century
Haggadah from Guadalajara, Spain, from the 15th century
Ladino and Hebrew Haggadah from Venice, Italy, from the 17th century
Haggadah from Fez, Morocco, from the 20th century.
Archives of institutions and Mizrahi-Jewish communities whose members are descendants of the expelled Jews, archives of scholars of Sephardic Judaism, and more have been added to NLI’s collection of personal archives.
They include the works and private estates of rabbis and community leaders.
The archives of Yechiel Habshush, who assisted in bringing the Yemenite community to Israel, historian Moshe David Gaon, who is the father of singer Yehoram Gaon, journalist Robert Attal, and portions of Abraham Shalom Yahuda’s archive are among the most recent ones, which have been cataloged and scanned thanks to the kind support of the Samis Foundation of Seattle.