This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
Pages in category "Jewish art"
The following 26 pages are in this category, out of 26 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
The following 26 pages are in this category, out of 26 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Beit She'arim National Park – Beit Shearim is the currently used name for the ancient Jewish town of Bet Shearāyim or Kfar Shearāyim. The Arabic name of the hill it stands on is Sheikh Ibreik or Sheikh Abreik, another Arabic name is bayt al-ġurabāʾ. The partially excavated archaeological site consists mainly of a necropolis of rock-cut tombs. The site is managed by the National Parks Authority as the Beit Shearim National Park and it borders the town of Kiryat Tivon on the northeast and is located five kilometres west of Moshav Beit Shearim. It is situated 20 km east of Haifa in the foothills of the Lower Galilee. In 2015 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rationale of the committee was as follows, The towns vast necropolis, carved out of soft limestone, contains more than 30 burial cave systems. Although only a portion of the necropolis has been excavated, it has been likened to a book inscribed in stone, the wealth of artistic adornments contained in this, the most ancient extensive Jewish cemetery in the world, is unparalleled anywhere. According to Moshe Sharon, following Yechezkel Kutscher, the name of the city was Bet Shearayim or Kfar Shearayim. The ancient Yemenite Jewish pronunciation of the name is also Bet Shearayim, the popular orthography for the Hebrew word for house, בֵּית, is beit, while the traditional King James one is beth, the effort being now to replace both with the etymologically better suited bet. Pottery shards discovered at the site indicate that a first settlement there dates back to the Iron Age, Beit Shearayim was founded at the end of the 1st century BCE, during the reign of King Herod. The Roman Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, in his Vita, referred to the city in Greek as Besara, the Galilee earthquake of 363 did damage Bet Shearayim, but without long-lasting effects. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin moved to Beit Shearayim, the town is mentioned rabbinical literature as an important center of Jewish learning during the 2nd century. Rabbi Judah the Prince, head of the Sanhedrin and compiler of the Mishna, in the last seventeen years of his life, he moved to Sepphoris for health reasons, but planned his burial in Beit Shearim. According to tradition, he owned there land he received as a gift from his friend, the most desired burial place for Jews was the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, but in 135 CE, when Jews were barred from the area, Beit Shearim became an alternative. While it was thought that Bet Shearayim was destroyed during the Jewish revolt against Gallus in the mid-4th century. An earthquake in 386 caused some damage, but the town recovered and enjoyed prosperity during the era of Byzantine rule, almost 300 inscriptions primarily in Greek, but also in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Palmyrene were found on the walls of the catacombs containing numerous sarcophagi. From the beginning of the Early Islamic period, settlement was sparse, excavations uncovered 75 lamps dating to the period of Umayyad and Abassid rule over Palestine. A large Abbasid-period glassmaking facility from the 9th century was found at the site
2. Beth Alpha – Beth Alpha or Bet Alpha or Bet Alfa is a sixth-century synagogue located at the foot of the northern slopes of the Gilboa mountains near Beit Shean, Israel. It is now part of Bet Alfa Synagogue National Park and managed by the Israel Nature, the Beth Alpha synagogue was uncovered in 1928 by members of the nearby Kibbutz Hefzibah, who stumbled upon the synagogue’s extensive mosaic floors during irrigation construction. Excavations began in 1929 under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and were led by Israeli archaeologist, a secondary round of excavations, sponsored by the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1962, further explored the residential structures surrounding the synagogue. In addition, a hoard of 36 Byzantine coins were found in a depression in the floor apse. Architectural remains from the Beth Alpha synagogue indicate that the synagogue once stood as two-story basilical building and contained a courtyard, vestibule, the Torah Ark within the apse was aligned southwest, in the direction of Jerusalem. The northern entryway features two dedicatory inscriptions in Aramaic and Greek, although partially destroyed, the Aramaic inscription indicates that the synagogue was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Justinus, probably Justin I, and was funded by communal donations. The Greek inscription thanks artisans “Marianos and his son Hanina, ” whom were listed as the artisans of the nearby Beth Shean synagogue. The inscriptions are flanked on either side by a lion and a buffalo, the northern panel depicts the “Binding of Isaac”. To the right, Abraham is depicted dangling Isaac over the altar as he raises his hand to perform the sacrifice. In the center, God, symbolized by the small fire- encircled hand appearing in the upper center, instructs Abraham to sacrifice a nearby ram instead of Isaac. The hand of God is aptly labeled with “al tishlah” or “do not raise, in the lower center of the composition, immediately below the hand of God, the ram that served as Isaac’s substitute is positioned standing sideways, trapped in the nearby thicket. All the figures in the scene, except for the two servants, are identified with Hebrew labels, the iconographic significance of the “Binding of Isaac” is unclear. In contemporaneous Christian church art, where the “Binding of Isaac” was also a popular theme, the central panel features a Jewish adaptation of the Greco-Roman zodiac. The zodiac consists of two circles, with the twelve zodiac signs appearing in the outer circle, and Helios. The outer circle consists of panels, each of which correspond to one of the twelve months of the year. Female busts symbolizing the four seasons appear in the four corners immediately outside the zodiac, in the center, Helios appears with his signature Greco-Roman iconographic elements such as the fiery crown of rays adorning his head and the highly stylized quadriga or four-horse-drawn chariot. The background is decorated with a crescent shaped moon and stars, as in the “Binding of Isaac” panel, the zodiac symbols and seasonal busts are labeled with their corresponding Hebrew names. Some interpret the popularity that the zodiac maintains within synagogue floors as evidence for its Judaization and adaptation into the Jewish calendar, others see it as representing the existence of a “non-Rabbinic” or a mystical and Hellenized form of Judaism that embraced the astral religion of Greco-Roman culture
3. Alexander Bogen – Alexander Bogen was a Polish-Israeli artist, painter, sculptor, stage designer, book illustrator and a commander partisan during World War II. Alexander Bogen was born in Tartu, Estonia and brought up in Wilno, as a young boy he adhered to the values of the Yiddish culture of Yung Vilne, as well as to the modern Polish culture. After completing his studies at the gymnasium, he was accepted to the Stefan Batory art academy affiliated with the Wilno University and his father came from a secular family and his mother was the daughter of Rabbi Tuvia Lobitzki, the rabbi of Wołkowysk, Poland. His studies were interrupted by World War II, Bogen joined the partisans and became a commander of the partisan unit in the Narocz Forests. He buried many of the drawings he made at this time near Lake Narocz and he returned to the ghetto in September 1943 and helped to facilitate the rescue of members of the United Partisan Organization, a Jewish underground movement active in the ghetto. After the war Bogen returned to his studies, finished his degree and was mastered as an artist of monumental painting at the USB Academy of Art in Vilna. In 1947, he taught as a professor at The Academy of Fine Arts In Łódź and became a well-known artist, set designer, in 1951, Bogen and his wife immigrated to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv. During his time in Israel, Bogen continued his cultural and educational activities in the arts, in 1957 he initiated the art program in Ironi Yud-Dalet highschool in Tel Aviv and lead it for 22 years. Bogen completed his studies of art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and was an art lecturer in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Bogen continued painting, drawing and sculpting until his death at the age of 94 in Tel Aviv on October 20,2010, Bogen continued to draw during the war, documenting what he saw, We saw abandoned children. We saw people being led to the slaughter, I did not lay down my pencil for a moment. An artist condemned to death portraying people condemned to extermination. I sketched the forest, my brothers-in-arms, I burnt dry branches and prepared charcoal for my sketches. I asked myself why I was drawing, when I was fighting day, every man, every people, is interested in continuing his people, his family, in bringing children into the world for the future – in leaving this one thing. Another motivation was to get information to the so-called free world……and to be creative in the situation of the Holocaust, the artist reacts through his medium. This is his weapon…This is what shows that the Germans could not break his spirit, placide Gallery, Paris 1963 Rider Gallery, Los Angeles, Merkup Gallery, Mexico 1975 Glezer Gallery, N. Y. His drawings, especially those that survived from his days, offer a gallery of characters. Among the drawings on show were illustrations for poems by two Yiddish poets, Gebirtig and Abraham Sutzkever
4. Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum – Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum is a history museum in Braunschweig, Germany, operated by the state of Lower Saxony. The museum is scattered on four locations, Vieweghaus, Hinter Ägidien, Kanzlei, the collection covers 500,000 years and includes objects from the history of the Braunschweig area, including culture, econonmy, technogy, folk arts, and social history. Today, the BLM hosts a collection of 600,000 to 800,000 objects, the museums history dates back to October 11,1891, when it was founded in the Duchy of Brunswick as Vaterländisches Museum für Braunschweigische Landesgeschichte. Originally it was located in a street called Hagenscharrn in the city of Braunschweig, in 1938, the museum was renamed to Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum für Geschichte und Volkstum. This name remained until December 31,1982, the neoclassicist building, the former publishing house of Vieweg Verlag, hosts the main collection, and is located in the city center at the castle square. A large part of the collection was moved there in 1986, located in the street Hinter St. Aegidien, this annex exhibits Judaica and was opened to the public in 1746. Center piece is an interior from Hamburg. This annex focuses on ancient history of the region and was established there in 1959, the building was built in the 16th century and is located in the city center. The Bortfelder Bauernhausmuseum section was opened in 1968 and is located in Bortfeld and this museum reflects on the rural life of the region. The central attraction is a farmhouse from 1639, list of museums in Germany Gerd Biegel, Herzöge, Revolution und Nierentisch. Jahrtausendrückblick einer Region, Braunschweig 2000 Official website
5. Center for Jewish Art – The Center for Jewish Art is a research institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, devoted to the documentation and research of Jewish visual culture. Established in 1979, it documented and researched objects of Jewish art in ca.700 museums, libraries, private collections, today, the Centers archives and collections constitute the largest and most comprehensive body of information on Jewish art in existence. The CJA’s research and documentation is included in the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art, the Center was an outcome of Narkiss’s iconographical research of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, which he initiated with Professor Gablielle Sed-Rajna in 1974. The Index initially consisted of four sections, a Section of Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts, of Sacred and Ritual Objects, of Ancient Jewish Art, Professor Bezalel Narkiss headed the CJA until 1991. The next director, Professor Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, established a section for Jewish Ritual Architecture. In addition, from 1994 CJA documented those synagogues in Germany which survived the Nazi regime and were not demolished in Kristallnacht. The documentation projects in Germany were done in cooperation with the Department of Architectural History at the Technical University in Braunschweig, in 1997 this cooperation was institutionalized as Bet Tfila Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe. Jewish Art is a devoted to the research of Jewish art. Its editors were Bezalel Narkiss and Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, Professors Ziva Amishai-Maisels, rimonim is a Hebrew journal on Jewish art, aiming at bringing the results of academic research to a wider Israeli audience. In 1976-1994 the Center for Jewish Art published ten volumes of Jerusalem Index of Jewish Art as collections of card on Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, ritual objects, from 2007, Beit Tfila publishes a series of monographs on Jewish architecture and a series of smaller studies on individual Jewish buildings. The editors of both series are Aliza Cohen-Mushlin and Harmen Thies, and they are published by the Imhoff Verlag in English, the images are classified according to their iconographical subject, type of objects, origin, and date. The digitization of the Index is being undertaken in cooperation with the National Library of Israel, czech Republic, ritual objects and synagogues. Israel, archaeology, modern art, ritual objects and synagogues, montenegro, ancient synagogues and Jewish monuments. Russia, manuscripts, cemeteries, synagogues, cemeteries and ritual objects in Siberia, CJA official website The Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art The Center for Jewish Art collection at the National Library of Israel website Bet Tfila Research Unit website
6. Dura-Europos synagogue – The Dura-Europos synagogue is an ancient synagogue uncovered at Dura-Europos, Syria, in 1932. The last phase of construction was dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244 CE and these paintings are now displayed in the National Museum of Damascus. Dura-Europos was a garrison and trading city on the river Euphrates. It changed hands at various points but was Roman from 165 CE, before the final Persian destruction of the town in 256-257 CE, parts of the synagogue which abutted the main city wall were apparently requisitioned and filled with sand as a defensive measure. The city was abandoned after its fall and never resettled, the excavations discovered also very important wall-paintings from places of worship of Christianity, at the Dura-Europos church, and Mithraism, and fragmentary Christian texts in Hebrew. In the Syrian Civil War, the site was occupied by ISIL, mesnil also made detailed comparisons of the friezes from the Dura synagogue with those of the mithraeum, the Christian baptistery, and the temple of the Palmyrene gods. The synagogue contains a forecourt and house of assembly with painted walls depicting people and animals, the paintings cover the walls of the main Assembly Room, using three levels of pictures over a dado frieze of symbols in most places, reaching a height of about 7 metres. The scenes depicted are drawn from the Hebrew Bible and include many narrative scenes and they include the Sacrifice of Isaac and other Genesis stories, Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law, Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt, the visions of Ezekiel, and many others. The Hand of God motif is used to represent divine intervention or approval in several paintings, scholars cannot agree on the subjects of some scenes, because of damage, or the lack of comparative examples. Stylistically they are versions of contemporary Graeco-Roman style and technique. Technically they are not fresco but tempera over plaster, earlier parts of the building have decorative painting with no figures. Some of the paintings have figures whose eyes have been scratched out, scholars think the paintings were used as an instructional display to educate and teach the history and laws of the religion. The discovery of the synagogue helps to dispel narrow interpretations of Judaisms historical prohibition of visual images, oldest synagogues in the world Hachlili, Rachel. Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Diaspora, Part 1, BRILL,1998, ISBN 90-04-10878-5, ISBN 978-90-04-10878-3, Google books Kessler, Edward in Sawyer, John FA. Young, Penny,2014 Dura Europos A City for Everyman, Twopenny Press Synagogue frescoes at EIKON Image Database for Biblical Studies, Yale Divinity School
7. Gaza synagogue – The ancient synagogue of Gaza was built in 508 AD during the Byzantine period and was discovered in 1965. It was located in the ancient port city of Gaza, then known as Maiumas, in 1965, Egyptian archaeologists discovered the site and announced they had uncovered a church. Later a mosaic of King David wearing a crown and playing a lyre, the mosaic was dated to 508-09 CE and measured 3 meters high by 1.9 meters wide. It was originally described as depicting a female saint playing the harp, the Egyptian archaeologists stated that the mosaic was in fact a depiction of Orpheus, a Greek mythological figure who was commonly associated with David and used in Byzantine art. Shortly after the discovery, Davids face was gouged out. When Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War, the mosaic floor of the synagogue is on show at the Museum of the Good Samaritan, located on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road near Maale Adumim. A. Ovadiah, The Synagogue at Gaza, Qadmoniyot 1/4, 124-127, pls. c, d. A. Ovadiah, Excavations in the Area of the Ancient Synagogue at Gaza, Israel Exploration Journal 19, 193-198. A. Ovadiah, Gaza Maiumas,1976, Israel Exploration Journal 27, a. Ovadiah, The Synagogue at Gaza, pp. 129–132 in Ancient Synagogues Revealed, ed. L. I. Mosaic from the floor of the ancient synagogue at Gaza
8. Gold glass – Gold glass or gold sandwich glass is a luxury form of glass where a decorative design in gold leaf is fused between two layers of glass. About 500 pieces of glass used in this way have been recovered. Many show religious imagery from Christianity, traditional Greco-Roman religion and its various cultic developments, others show portraits of their owners, and the finest are among the most vivid portraits to survive from Early Christian times. They stare out at us with a stern and melancholy intensity. From the 1st century AD the technique was used for the gold colour in mosaics. Various different techniques may also be described as gold glass. Zwischengoldglas is very similar but the two layers of glass are cemented, not fused and it mostly comes from Germany and Bohemia from the 18th and 19th centuries. Verre églomisé properly covers a layer of glass which is gilded on the back, as used in 19th century shop signs. One process was revived by Jean-Baptise Glomy, hence the name, both of these processes were also used in ancient times, and the German and French languages often use their native terms for what is called gold glass in English. Gold ruby glass or cranberry glass is actually red, coloured by the addition of gold oxide, gold-band glass is another ancient technique covered below. The manufacturing process for gold glass was difficult and required great skill. For a Late Roman glass, first a round flat disc, typically about three to five inches across, was cut away from a blown sphere with a flattened bottom. A piece of leaf was then glued to this with gum arabic. The design was created by scraping away gold leaf, the main vessel, a cup or bowl, was formed by blowing and cutting, with a flat bottom the same size as the first disc. This was then heated again and carefully lowered onto the disc with the design, the complete vessel was then heated a final time to complete the fusing. Different accounts of different periods vary somewhat as to the sequence of stages and other details. The larger Hellenistic glass bowls are thought to have been formed using moulds rather than blown, as the bowl is doubled. Some of the finer later medallions seem to have made as such from the start
9. Golden calf – According to the Bible, the golden calf was an idol made by the Israelites during Moses absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai. In Hebrew, the incident is known as ḥēṭ’ ha‘ēggel or The Sin of the Calf and it is first mentioned in Exodus 32,4. Bull worship was common in many cultures, among the Egyptians and Hebrews neighbors in the ancient Near East and in the Aegean, the Aurochs, the wild bull, was widely worshipped, often as the Lunar Bull and as the creature of El. When Moses went up into Biblical Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, he left the Israelites for forty days, the Israelites feared that he would not return and demanded that Aaron make them gods to go before them. Aaron gathered up the Israelites golden earrings and ornaments, constructed a molten calf and they declared, These thy gods, O Israel, Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed the next day to be a feast to the LORD. So they rose up early the day and offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink. Moses besought and pleaded that they should be spared, and God repented of the evil which He said He would do unto His people. Moses went down from the mountain, but upon seeing the calf, he became angry, Moses burnt the golden calf in a fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on water, and forced the Israelites to drink it. When Moses asked him, Aaron admitted collecting the gold, and throwing it into the fire, the Bible records that the tribe of Levi did not worship the golden calf. When Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Whosoever is on the LORDs side, and all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses, the golden calf is mentioned in Nehemiah 9, 16–21. But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery, but you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, This is your god, because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path and you gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst, for forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen. The language suggests that there are inconsistencies in the other accounts of the Israelites. As the version in Exodus and 1 Kings are written by Deuteronomistic historians based in the kingdom of Judah
10. Hamburg temple model – The Hamburg temple model is a baroque architectural model of the Temple of Solomon. It covers an area of about 12 square metres and is made from wood and it is square, with four wings and nine courtyards, two of them in the central axis. It was made from 1680 to 1692 after being commissioned by the Hamburg senator and founder and director of the Hamburg Opera, the model was first exhibited at the Hamburg Opera. After his death, Schotts heirs put the model up for sale in London, in 1732 it was taken to Dresden, where it was shown as part of the collection of Jewish ceremonial art. After the restructuring of this collection in the early 19th Century the model had several owners, Schotts model is in the tradition of many Renaissance and Baroque attempts at reconstruction of the temple by theological and architectural scholars. The Hamburg-based model closely follows an interpretation by the Spanish Jesuit Juan Bautista Villalpando in 1604, in turn, the reason the expensive and complex model was commissioned is unknown. Der Tempel Salomonis im Dresdener Zwinger, Facetten und Spiegelungen eines Barocken Architekturmodells, thomas Ketelsen, ed. Fragmente der Erinnerung. Der Tempel Salomonis im Dresdner Zwinger, Facetten und Spiegelungen eines barocken Architekturmodells und eines frühen jüdischen Museums, das Hamburger Modell des Salomonischen Tempels. Hamburg zu Lust und Nutz, Bürgerliches Musikverständnis zwischen Barock und Aufklärung, jahresbericht des Museums für Hamburgische Geschichte für das Jahr 1910. Archaische Utopien, Materialien zu Gerhard Schotts Hamburger Bühnenmodell des Templum Salomonis, media related to Hamburg temple model at Wikimedia Commons
11. Hand of God (art) – The hand, sometimes including a portion of an arm, or ending about the wrist, is used to indicate the intervention in or approval of affairs on Earth by God, and sometimes as a subject in itself. It is a metaphor that is generally not intended to indicate that a hand was physically present or seen at any subject depicted. The Hand is seen appearing from above in a restricted number of narrative contexts, often in a blessing gesture. Here and elsewhere it often represents the bath Kol or voice of God, the hand may also relate to older traditions in various other religions in the Ancient Near East. In the art of the Amarna period in Egypt under Akhenaten, like the hamsa amulet, the hand is sometimes shown alone on buildings, although it does not seem to have existed as a portable amulet-type object in Christian use. It is found from the 4th century on in the Catacombs of Rome, including paintings of Moses receiving the Law and they are usually distinguished from references to a placement at the right hand of God. Later rabbinic literature also contains a number of references, there are three occasions in the gospels when the voice of God is heard, and the hand often represents this in visual art. Gertrud Schiller distinguishes three functions of the hand in Christian art, as symbol of either Gods presence or the voice of God, the hand of God, which encompasses God’s arm and fingers as well, is one of the most frequently employed anthropomorphisms of the Hebrew Bible. References to the hand of God occur numerous times in the Pentateuch alone, for example, when Stephen is filled with the holy spirit he looks to heaven and sees Jesus standing by the right hand of God. There are three occasions in the Gospels when the voice of God is heard, and the hand of God often represents this in visual art, anthropomorphic aggadot regarding the hand of God appear frequently in the corpus of rabbinic literature and expand upon anthropomorphic biblical narratives. In Christian art, the hand of God has traditionally been understood as a metaphor that is not intended to indicate that the deity was physically present or seen in any subject depicted. In the late antique and early periods, the representation of the full-bodied figure of God the Father would have been considered a grave violation of the Second Commandment. Gertrud Schiller distinguishes three functions of the hand in Christian art, as symbol of either Gods presence or the voice of God, the motif of the hand, with no body attached, provides a problem for the artist in how to terminate it. A cloud is mentioned as the source of the voice of God in the accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Later examples in Jewish art are closer in form to Christian styles, in Christian art, the hand of God usually occupies the form of a blessing gesture, if they are not performing an action, though some just show an open hand. The normal blessing gesture is to point with the index and next finger, with the fingers curled back. There is also a more complicated Byzantine gesture which attempts to represent the Greek letter chi, Christs initial and this is formed by crossing the thumb and little finger inside the palm, with only the forefinger and next one extended, or a variant of this. Especially in these examples, the hand may show the sleeve of a garment, in blessing forms the hand often has a halo, which also may provide a convenient termination point
12. Jewish ceremonial art – Jewish ceremonial art, also known as Judaica, refers to an array of objects used by Jews for ritual purposes. Judaism has a set of classical early rabbinic commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, Midrash Mechilta has this teaching on a biblical verse, This is my God and I will glorify Him Is it possible for a human being to add glory to his Creator. What this really means is, I shall glorify God in the way that I perform commandments, I shall prepare a beautiful lulav, beautiful sukkah, beautiful fringes, and beautiful tefilin. Other Midrash teachings offer the same idea and this idea is expanded upon in the Babylonian Talmud. This teaching was understood by succeeding generations as a duty, when possible, to make beautiful items used in Jewish life and worship, both physical and textual. The following items are used during Shabbat, Kiddush cup, Kiddush, literally, sanctification, is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat, Kiddush cups are highly decorated, and are generally made of china, porcelain, silver, pewter and nickel. Part of the ceremony requires sniffing a sweet-smelling spice or plant, the oldest surviving spice boxes for Havdalah date to the mid-sixteenth century. The Jewish Museum has a German example c.1550 thought to originate in Frankfurt am Main, the menorah used on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is perhaps the most widely produced article of Jewish ceremonial art. The Lindo lamp is a fine example by an 18th-century silversmith. Contemporary artists often design menorahs, such as the gold-plated brass menorah with 35 moveable branches designed by Yaacov Agam, a silver menorah by Zeev Raban from the 1930s is in the Judaica Collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Etrog Box To protect the etrog during the Sukkot holiday, it is wrapped in silky flax fibers and stored in a special box. The tradition of artistically embellished haggadahs, the Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder, the Sarajevo Haggadah of 1350 is a celebrated example. Major contemporary artists have produced notable haggadahs, such as the Szyk Hagaddah, see also the facsimile edition of the even earlier Barcelona Haggadah of 1340. The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery City Park, New York City also holds a sizable collection, another way to see Judaica is through the art marketplace, including auction houses. Sothebys, Bonhams-New York, Skinners and Kestenbaums routinely hold regular auctions each year, religious art The Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art
13. Jewish paper cutting – Jewish paper cutting is a traditional form of Jewish folk art made by cutting figures and sentences in paper or parchment. It is connected with various customs and ceremonies, and associated with holidays, Paper cuts often decorated ketubbot, Mizrahs, and ornaments for festive occasions. Paper cutting was practiced by Jewish communities in both Eastern Europe and North Africa and the Middle East for centuries and has seen a revival in modern times in Israel, the origin of Jewish paper cutting is unclear. European Jews in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries practiced this type of art, Paper cutting as a folk craft gained popularity in the nineteenth century when paper became a cheap material. Paper cutting was widespread among the Jews of Poland and Russia in the nineteenth century, Jewish paper cuts were also produced in Germany and probably in the Netherlands. Some Italian Jewish parchment ketubot from the late 17th century until the nineteenth century were decorated paper cuts as well as some elaborate scrolls of the Book of Esther, similar paper cuttings from Jewish communities North Africa and the Middle East have some characteristic style differences. It was popular among Jews both in eastern and western Europe as well as in Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Bangladesh, Israel, in North Africa and the Middle East paper cuts were called a Menorah, because one or more menorah, always appeared as the central motif. These paper cuts included many inscriptions, mostly on the arms of the candelabras, the paper was mounted on thin, colored metal sheets. Two distinct kinds were produced, a Mizrah and smaller paper cuts used as charms, the motifs are the same as in European Jewish paper cuts but they have a distinctive Eastern style. Also, the hamsa, unknown in Europe, very often appears on these paper cuts, many paper cuts collections that had been preserved were destroyed during World War II and the Holocaust and relatively few remain in public or private collections. Since the late century, Jewish paper cuts have again become a popular art form in both Israel and other countries. Paper cutting is often used to decorate ketubot, wedding invitations. To a limited extent, Jewish paper cuts have become popular in Poland as a result of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. Beit Hatefutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel presented a 2009 exhibition called The Revival of Jewish Papercuts, Jewish paper cut art in October 2009. The exhibit was curated by Prof. Olga Goldberg, Gabriella Rabbi, Rina Biran, the Giza Frenkel Papercut Archive, additionally, a National Science Foundation-funded study called “Tradition and Continuity in Jewish Papercuts” was conducted by Prof. Olga Goldberg. Today, Jewish papercut art has grown in popularity beyond ritual items to art and expressions of Jewish faith, not only in Israel, in Israel papercutting was reactivated by Giza Frankel, a Polish-born ethnographer. Frankels most significant publications on paper cutting are Wycinanka żydowska w Polsce, Giza Frankel brought Polish paper cuts when she emigrated to Israel in 1950. According to Frankel, the most famous Polish papercutters are Marta Gołąb, Marta Gołąb is both a graphic artist and papercutter
14. Jewish symbolism – The Hebrew word for symbol is ot, which, in early Judaism, denoted not only a sign, but also a visible religious token of the relation between God and man. The Shabbat, according to Ezekiel 20,12 is Gods sign between Him and His people and it states, Moreover also I gave them my shabbats, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. The Shabbat was instituted on the day of creation for all mankind. 1) He rested from all work, 2) He blessed the Shabbat, and 3) God sanctified the seventh day, which means He set it apart for only Holy use. The ten commandments in Exodus 20, 8-12 explain further that, six days shall you labor and do all your work, the Hebrew for priest is Kohen, the Kohanim mediated between God and man by offering sacrifices, and by other services in the Temple. The leader of them the Kohen Gadol, the high priest, the vestments of the high priest were interpreted in three ways. The ephod corresponded to heaven, and the stones on both shoulders to the two hemispheres, one above and the other below the earth. The six names on each of the stones were the six signs of the zodiac, the miter was the sign of the crown, which exalted the high priest above all earthly kings. Josephus explanation is this, The coat was the symbol of the earth, the ephod typified the four elements, and the interwoven gold denoted the glory of God. The miter denoted atonement for pride, and the belt for theft or trickery, the breastplate represented atonement for any perversion of the Law, the ephod for idolatry, and the robe for slander. The number three was the symbol of holiness and love, the Holy of Holies occupied one-third, and the Holy Place two-thirds, of the entire Temple. The tapestries were ten times three ells in length, and there were three vessels each for the altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense, and the Ark, the candlestick had twice three arms, and each arm had three knobs. The blessing of the priest consisted of three sections, and in the invocation of God the word holy was repeated thrice. The symbolism of the four was based on the contemplation of the quaternity as found in the universe. The Holy of Holies was in the form of a cube, all the vessels of the Temple in Jerusalem were rectangular. 26-28, the number four symbolized the divine revelation, while in the view of Philo it was the number of complete harmony, the candlestick had seven lamps, and the acts of atonement and purification were accompanied by a sevenfold sprinkling. The establishment of the Sabbath, the Sabbatical year, and the year of jubilee was based on the seven, as were the periods of purification. The number 7 is the Divine number of completion, the number eight symbolizes new beginnings
15. Maon Synagogue – The Maon Synagogue is a 6th-century synagogue and archaeological site located in the Negev Desert near Kibbutz Nirim and Kibbutz Nir Oz. It is noted for its magnificent mosaic floor, the original date of the synagogue is uncertain but is before the 6th century. In a sixth-century renovation, the wall was opened and a semi-circular apse to contain a Torah Ark was constructed. The floor level was raised and marble columns and a beautiful mosaic floor installed. At the bottom of the floor is an amphora flanked by a pair of peacocks. A vine flows out of the amphora, forming loops, in each loop is a bird, animal, fruit, the design is so similar to the mosaics in the church floor at nearby Shallal that they are thought to have been designed by the same artist. Both floors depict animals and have patterns, the synagogue floor is distinguished by a menorah flanked by two lions and several other Jewish ritual objects. The seven-branched menorah stands on three legs, like the menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem, the legs in Maon are shaped like a lions paws. Alongside the menorah are the symbols of Judah, palm trees, esrogs, a shofar and a lulav are depicted nearby. The Mosaic has an inscription in Aramaic, the upper part of the inscription blesses all members of the community, the lower part honors three donors. An identical floor was found in the ancient synagogue in Gaza, the synagogue is built on the basilica plan. The mosaic is in the area, the two side aisles were paved with stone. The ceiling was made of beams and clay. A number of objects were found by the salvage dig on the floor facing the Torah Ark. These include coins and bone and metal artifacts that are thought to have associated with the Torah Ark. There were also fragments of glass and ceramic lamps, dozens of amulets were also found, some of them were used by women who were asking for good health. Adjacent to the ruins of the synagogue a cistern, water channels, the synagogue was built at the site of Hellenistic Menois, a city marked on the Map of Madaba. It is one of three ancient synagogues discovered in the western Negev, the synagogue and its mosaic floor were discovered during the construction of a road in 1957
16. Maoz Haim Synagogue – The Maoz Haim Synagogue was originally constructed in the 3rd century as a simple Byzantine-era type basilica building, later apsidical, in the Beit Shean region in northern Israel. It was even developing right through times of anti-Judaic legislation and sermonizing, the initial layout began as a fourteen by twelve and a half meter square room with two rows of five columns with benches lining the walls, although none remained standing. There was a single entrance eastward which is considered to be unusual, most synagogues, aside from others which were located in the same northern Galil region, did not share this feature. However, it is mentioned in sources as part of the synagogue layout in order to emulate the eastward entrance utilized by the Tabernacle. The focal point of the synagogue was located southward, towards Jerusalem, such an orientation had not previously been a feature of synagogues of the era, but was a new custom which was just beginning to take hold. This is especially noticeable with remodeling which was done in the 4th century, while the synagogue did not originally have a narthex, one was added during the later phases of building to the north, although it was totally destroyed. The later phases also added an entrance to the north. Such separations were very common in ancient synagogues and the raised area is what shows that this was no exception. The area of the screen depicted a menorah as well as Hebrew letters, the only Hebrew word in the entire building was Shalom, the remainder of the inscriptions were in Greek. Behind the bima there was an area, possibly a geniza, in several coins, pottery, and glass were found. The coins themselves were from the Byzantine era and helped identify the stages of building, there were many interesting mosaics which were found at the dig site. The only figures found were birds, but there were also many Jewish symbols portrayed in mosaic form, including a menorah, an etrog, a shofar and grapes. However, the symbols and birds were covered up in the 7th century, transforming the synagogue into one which was aniconic, in relation to this, the majority of the remaining floor was primarily composed of geometric patterns. Geometric patterns were popular before as in the earliest layer to an extent, however, it was not well preserved in the upper layers due to the aforementioned destruction of uncertain cause and additional construction that occurred by the local populace afterwards. This Holy Place, On the Sanctity of the Synagogue During the Greco-Roman Period, levine, Lee, ed. Ancient Synagogues Revealed. The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years, אנציקלופדיה החדשה לחפירות ארכיאולוגית בארץ ישראל
17. Micrography – Colored micrography is especially distinctive because these rare artworks are customarily rendered in black and white. The artwork is created from text that forms an image viewed at a distance. The Photomosaic, whose tiny individual images form a mosaic when viewed from a distance, is a modern analogue, there is a relationship between this form of art, employing both digital and analogic symbols, and the restrictions on images found in the second commandment. Micrography provides a solution to the visual artist who wishes to remain devout in observation of Jewish law, by using only text. As similar restrictions exist in certain Muslim societies, this solution has been adapted in Islamic calligraphy to the Arabic alphabet as well, MS21160 A German Pentateuch, c.1300 British Library, BL Add
18. Monheim Town Hall – The Monheim Town Hall is a historical building in Monheim, Bavaria, southern Germany, now owned by the citys council. The Jewish community in Monheim was established in 1697, when Duke Johann Wilhelm allowed six Jewish families which had banned from Eichstätt. The new community was allowed to acquire property in Monheim, to construct a Synagogue, in the following years, the community grew considerably, numbering 19 families and 150 people by 1737. The prospering community however raised concerns with the population, which was worried about eventually becoming outnumbered in town. In 1736, restrictions were passed, allowing only a number of weddings to be conducted by the local Jews at considerable cost. In 1741, Duke Charles III Philip passed an act banning all Jews from Palatinate-Neuburg, by the 31 July 1741, all Jews had to leave his lands and were only permitted to take with them what they could carry. No financial compensation was made for their loss of property, the Jews from Monheim left for the towns in the region not part of Palatinate-Neuburg and their origin from Monheim remains obvious through the surname Monheim or Monheimer. The location of the current town hall was acquired by Abraham Elias Model in 1712 from Ferdinand Kugler for 1,025 Gulden, the later owned a brewery and guest house at the spot, called Gasthaus zur Rose. Model had the old building demolished and commissioned a new building to be constructed, the new building, which was referred to in the local town chronicles as very precious, was built in Baroque style. It was a square building which was richly decorated, especially the ceilings. The main room on the floor, now the council chambers, depict Abraham being prevented by the angel from sacrificing Isaac. The ceiling, long hidden, was restored in 1978. Two more ceilings, also on the floor, were restored in 1994. One depicts Moses receiving the Ten Commandments while the other shows King David playing the harp, for a time it was assumed that the house also functioned as a synagogue, Monheim having had a Rabbi since 1715, but this has since been disproven. Nothing is left of the synagogue, which was located in the nearby building that later became the guest house Zum Ochsen. With the forced departure of the Jews in 1741, the building came into non-Jewish, in 1853, it was acquired by the town from the brewer Anton Wunderlich, to be used as a school house. For this purpose, the chamber that is now the council chamber was subdivided into two rooms. The rooms were insufficient to house all pupils and a separate building was constructed from 1892 to 1895 to house the school boys
19. Tzippori Synagogue – Tzippori Synagogue is an ancient synagogue discovered in Tzippori, a Roman-era Jewish city in the Galilee, now an archaeological site and a national park in Israel. Based on numismatic evidence, the synagogue appears to have built in the first half of the fifth century. It was located on the side of the city, not far from the city center. Measuring 20.7 meters long and 8 meters wide, it is the narrowest ancient synagogue uncovered in the Land of Israel, the Bimah was located in the western wall, not oriented towards Jerusalem as in other synagogues of that era. The Mishna describes Tzippori as having had 18 synagogues at the time of the funeral of Rabbi Judah haNasi in the second century CE. The mosaic floor of the ancient synagogue was discovered in 1993 by a building a parking lot at the edge of the national archaeological park of Tzippori. It is one of a handful of illustrated synagogue mosaics uncovered in Israel, archaeologist Zeev Weiss, then a graduate student at the Hebrew University, and his teacher, archaeologist Ehud Netzer were called to the scene, and Weiss uncovered the floor and its environs. The mosaic floor is divided into seven parts, near the entrance is a scene showing the angels visiting Sarah. The next section shows the binding of Isaac, there is a large Zodiac with the names of the months written in Hebrew. Helios sits in the middle, in his sun chariot, next, there is a row of three panels depicting the offerings in the Temple at Jerusalem, including the tamid sacrifice, the showbread and the basket of first fruits. Above this is a depiction of Aaron offering sacrifices in the Tabernacle, the top, or front of the building section of the floor, another row of three panels, shows two lions flanking a wreath, their paws resting on the head of an ox. The largest panel or central sections of the mosaic is laid out as a square containing a circle within a circle. This shows the Zodiac with Helios driving his chariot, as with the Hammat Tiberias Synagogue and the Beit Alfa Synagogue, the Zodiac panel at Tzippori features Spandrels depicting the four seasons. An Aramaic mosaic inscription in honor of the reads, May he be remembered for good Yudan son of Isaac the Priest and Paragri his daughter. Oldest synagogues in the world Archaeology in Israel