Jewish Costumes in the Joyous Haggadah

Some of the comments on the characters and their colorful costumes in the Joyous Haggadah, are that they donít look Jewish, especially that Chinese guy on page 14. Or they look too Jewish, if you know what we mean.

No, I donít know what they mean. ďFrom generation to generation ď, from togas to top hats, a thing that distinguished Jews was the ability to quickly adapt to a new culture. One of the things that united them was the celebration of Passover. The 4th century Greek Jew, the 13th century Spanish Jew and the 17th century Chinese Jew all looked, acted and talked differently. But they all performed very much the same Seder ceremonies.

The costumes arenít fanciful or made up and range from antiquity to the present. My resources included A History of Jewish Costume by Alfred Rubens/Funk & Wagnalls, A Pictorial History of Costume by Wolfgang Bruhn and Max Tilke/Arch Cape Press, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscript by Bezalel Narkiss/Macmillan, various shows at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Museums and glimpses of the real clothes still worn in a few dwindling places in our modern world.