To help me prepare for conducting seders again this year, can anyone point me to a compilation of teachings or stories involving any or all of the rabbis in the hagadda?

  • Autobiographical tidbits?
  • Teachings?
  • Aggadic tales?
  • Other insights or interesting information on them?

Yes, I could scour various sources, but perhaps people have done this before and I could stand on their shoulders, or at least borrow from them.

Alternative, even single contributions would be helpful (as opposed to compilations).
For example, Ben Zoma is quoted in the Ethics of the Fathers as saying, "Ben Zoma says: Who is brave? The one who subdues his negative inclination." - Avot 4:1.

  • 2
    @Mefaresh, I think it's reasonable to ask if there's a compilation out there that focuses on the personalities of the rabbis quoted in the Hagada, especially as the publishing industry works very hard to produce hagadas that examine the text from every possible point of view under the sun. I agree that the "single contributions" part of this question is potentially too broad. However, perhaps this could work with a single community-wiki answer listing all of the quoted rabbis, with the community invited to fill in sources for each of them.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 14:12
  • I have a fantastic sefer at home called the Historic Haggadah (or something like that) that does an incredible job placing the stories in the haggadah into context. I love it and reference it every year. I'll see if I can find it online for you... Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 15:04
  • @IsaacKotlicky - This sounds like something I'd also like. If possible, ping me when u find it.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 17:30
  • @isaac-kotlicky I would greatly appreciate knowing where I can get a copy of that sefer. Is this it: historicalhaggadah.com
    – Yehuda W
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


What was so special about the seder of these Tannaim doesn’t everyone have a seder as well? If one takes a deeper look into whom these Tannaim were, one could appreciate the greatness of this gathering.

Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yeshoua were both Levites.
Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah were Kohanim.
Rabbi Akiva was a descendant from converts (acc to some).

Now one can appreciate the greatness, none of these tannaim has a lineage of bondage, yet they sat and talked all night about Yetziat Mitzrayim! How much moreso do we have an obligation to tell over the greatness of Hashem.

(Rabbi Nebontzol)

  • Why do you say the cohanim and leviim were not slaves in Egypt?
    – Yehuda W
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 13:56
  • The tribe of Levi were not enslaved ,the Medrash Tanchuma ,and Rashi note this
    – sam
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 14:02
  • Rabbi Akiva wasn't a convert, his father was. His name was Akiva ben Yosef, while he would have been Akiva ben Avraham or Akiva ben bagbag if he was a convert. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 15:44
  • You are correct ,edited
    – sam
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 15:52

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