The Exile→Redemption Haggadah

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Leather bound on art paper

The Exile→Redemption Haggadah, the latest addition to the Kitvei Kodesh Collection, is a powerful new visual interpretation of the Haggadah's age-old story of slavery and redemption. The Jerusalem artist Ilya Gefter - born in St. Petersburg and educated in North America, Italy and Jerusalem - has transmuted the words of the text, and his own astute observations of contemporary landscapes, onto huge, vellum-like pages throbbing with the experiences of the Jewish people through the millenia. 

Open the heavy, embossed leather cover of this extraordinary volume, turn the hand-made endpapers, and enter - through a classic Jerusalem doorway gently lit by a single electric lamp - a Haggadah unlike any other. A huge arm, outstretched from one page to another, looms over the shadowy figures of emigrants fleeing for their lives. Men's muscular bodies struggle against physical and spiritual duress. A woman draped in blue looks down pensively at her pregnant stomach. This is an artist's book that happens to be based on an ancient Jewish text. Its monumental pages are particular in their subject matter, universal in their emotional impact. 

A gifted painter and former instructor at the Jerusalem Studio School, Ilya Gefter revels in the structure and content of the Haggadah. Working hand-in-hand with the talented calligrapher and designer Yakov Daniel, who is known for the scholarship and elegance he brings to traditional Hebrew texts, Gefter has created the Haggadah anew. Each of his pages reflects turbulent spiritual and physical realities, yet this is a volume that epitomizes aesthetic harmony and order. While paying due respect to the symbols and rituals of Jewish life, it emanates from a strictly contemporary aesthetic, underscored by Jewish history and the significance of a living, breathing, 21st-century Land of Israel. 

The Exile→Redemption Haggadah is a perfect facsimile of the artist's unique masterpiece , virtually indistinguishable from the pages of original paintings and hand letter script by Ilya Gefter and Yakov Daniel. On the scale of a medieval tome, it is produced on the heavy, textured, deckle-edged paper of fine manuscripts and printed in a limited edition of 180. Its 64 huge leaves are stitched into exquisitely tooled and embossed leather bindings, then preserved in a presentation box. Every copy is printed individually and, as an artist's book, is numbered and authenticated by the signatures of the artist, scribe, and publisher. An additional Connoisseur's Edition of 90 is enhanced with some 60 additional pages featuring the preliminary sketches and drawings which appear in the original artists' book

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