From the Rav’s Desk: The story of “The longest Pesach”: Fact or fiction?

  1. Question: [Sunday, 28th Shevat 5783]

Shmuel Kunda of blessed memory is renowned for his story takes for children. To the best of my knowledge, I understand [as is self-evident] that at least some of his stories are fabrications. I was wondering regarding the story of the longest Pesach if you know as to whether it is his own innovation kids’ tale, or if it has any real source. I would like to be aware of this in order to know whether it is a true story that I can include in a book that I am preparing for children in elementary school. As of now, the principal has rejected the story from being included claiming that it is fabricated.


This story has earlier sources and hence may be recorded in a publication and disseminated as a true story as is done with many other stories despite their lack of 100% verification.

Explanation: Whether or not the story actually happened, and if it happened in the exact details described, is beyond our scope of verification, and is no different than any other story in print. However, what is certain is that this story has been around for a few generations, and is recorded in a number of Sefarim prior to the times of Shmuel Kunda. In one of these books, they write that the source for the story is in the Chronicles of the community of Prague. The way the story is told on the tape is pretty much accurate to the description of the story in these previous publications. In fact, the Rebbe of Arloy relates, as recorded in some of these Sefarim, that the tradition amongst Prague Jewry till this day remains to add an extra day to Pesach in commemoration of the great miracle that happened in the times of Rabbi Yechezkal Landau, the famous author of the Noda Beyehuda.


Sources: See the following books in which the story is recorded: Sippureiy Kedoshim [Bodek 1850’s] p. 23; Sefer Maaseh Shehayah [Pinchas Miller 1992] p. 22; Otzer Hamasiyos [Greenbaum 1988] 2 p. 98 in name of Pinkas Hakehal of Prague; Machatzis Zikni p. 318; Moreshes Avos 3:42

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