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The Evolution of the Haggadah The Haggadah has long been in development the since initial concept originated in the Bible The purpose of the Haggadah is based on the biblical requirement that Thou shall tell thy son on that day saying It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came forth from Egypt Ex 138 in Goodman 71 It is derived from this that one must therefore recount the exodus from Egypt every year on its anniversary The oldest part of the Haggadah is Psalms 113 and 114 believed to have been sung by the Leviim in the Passover rites observed before the Ptolemaic period while under Persian rule Most of the Haggadah that is used today was formed around 200 CE and is detailed in the Mishna though substantial additions were made in the following centuries Goodman 70-72 The text of the Haggadah was compiled based on attitudes of the times New items were added to reflect the Jews attitudes towards their current situation and their relationships with themselves and others at various times As a result while the entire Haggadah tells one story the process by which it came together tells another Originally the Haggadah was a thanksgiving to G-d for redemption from Egypt In Temple times the focus became a thanks for acquiring Israel After the destruction of the second Temple it became a prayer for ultimate redemption Haggadah Passover During the third century BCE Palestine was under the rule of Egypt and the feelings of the Jews towards this situation is reflected in the opening phrase of the Maggid section of the Haggadah We were Pharaohs slaves in Egypt About 175 BCE when High Priest Jason saw that this could be interpreted to imply that the Jews originated in Egypt he composed an alternate opening In the beginning out ancestors were idolaters This affirmed that the Jews were from Mesopotamia and not a product of
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