In 1493, the Jewish scholar Don Isaac Abrabanel published this Zevach Pesach in exile. It features the Haggadah, the account of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, read at the Seder meal to fulfill the Torah commandment to “tell your son” of God’s great deeds. In addition to the Haggadah, the Abrabanel edition offers a learned commentary on the Exodus event. This text is described as the second text printed in Constantinople using movable Hebrew type. That fact is reason enough to treasure its existence. Yet the text’s greater significance lies in its witness to Abrabanel’s commitment to assist his people even in the midst of great personal trial to honor the Torah’s commandment to tell the story of God’s redeeming power.
—Sandra Yocum, PhD, Associate Professor, Religious Studies