These pages contain four alternately laid out scenes in the outer margin and within the main column, showing phases from the seder. The first, on folio 156v, "Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are needy come and celebrate Passover with us." ... illustrates the blessing of the karpas (green herb, probably celery), eaten as an appetizer; with an affectionate gesture the master of the house offers it to his wife. The traditional large seder plate is on the table and it contains the food to be consumed during the Passover meal - three matzoth piled one on the other, a lettuce heart, bitter herbs (maror), and a leg of lamb, symbolizing the Paschal lamb. Alongside, in the second scene, there are two successive moments in the ritual - the breaking of the matzah, half of which is held by the master of the house and the removal of the seder plate from the table before the maggid ("Recite the Haggadah") section.

On the next page (fol. 157) a child asks the four questions that are essential to the reading of the Haggadah. "Why is this night different from all other nights..."

Following the instructions in the line above the illustration, another cup of wine is poured and we see a youth making this very gesture. At the moment that the answer to the four questions, "We were once slaves...," is recited, the plate is brought back to the table by the youth as the ritual requires.

While comparable scenes may be found in Sephardi, Ashkenazi and Italian manuscripts, the unusual aspect here is the presence of the whole sequence. Many details here are unique interpretations.

Excerpt from The Jewish Religion: A Companion, by Rabbi Louis Jacobs, published by Oxford University Press.