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Jewish ceremonial art, also known as Judaica (/dʒuːˈdeɪ.ɪkə/), refers to an array of objects used by Jews
Jews
for ritual purposes. Because enhancing a mitzvah by performing it with an especially beautiful object is considered a praiseworthy way of honoring God's commandments, Judaism has a long tradition of commissioning ritual objects from craftsmen and artists.[1]

Contents

1 Textual Origin 2 Items used on Shabbat

2.1 Hanukkah
Hanukkah
items

3 Sukkot
Sukkot
items 4 Books

4.1 Passover haggadah

5 Notable Judaica collections 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Textual Origin[edit] Judaism has a set of classical early rabbinic commentaries on the Hebrew Bible; these commentary collections are known as the midrash literature (Heb: midrashim). Midrash
Midrash
Mechilta has this teaching on a biblical verse:

"This is my God and I will glorify Him" (Exodus 15:2) 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 (tzitzit), and beautiful tefilin."

Other Midrash
Midrash
teachings (e.g. Song of Songs Rabbah 1.15) offer the same idea. This idea is expanded upon in the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
(e.g. Tractate Bava Kama 9b). 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. Items used on Shabbat[edit] 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
Shabbat
and Jewish holidays. Kiddush cups are highly decorated, and are generally made of china, porcelain, silver, pewter and nickel. Shabbat
Shabbat
candlestick holders Hand washing cup ("netilat yediam") Challah cutting board Havdalah
Havdalah
candle and candle holder Havdalah
Havdalah
spice box

Havdalah
Havdalah
candle holder and spice box

The close of the Jewish Shabbat
Shabbat
is marked by the brief prayer ceremony of Havdalah, which usually takes place in the home. Part of the ceremony requires sniffing a sweet-smelling spice or plant. In Jewish communities around the Mediterranean, a sprig of a sweet-smelling shrub was customarily used, in Northern Europe by the twelfth century there are literary references of the use of a specially designed spice box or container. The oldest surviving spice boxes for Havdalah
Havdalah
date to the mid-sixteenth century. The Jewish Museum (New York)
Jewish Museum (New York)
has a German example c. 1550 thought to originate in Frankfurt am Main.[2] Hanukkah
Hanukkah
items[edit]

Silver Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Menorah

The menorah (or hanukkiah) used on the Jewish holiday
Jewish holiday
of Hanukkah
Hanukkah
is perhaps the most widely produced article of Jewish ceremonial art.[3][4][5] The Lindo lamp
Lindo lamp
is a particularly 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.[6] A silver menorah by Ze'ev Raban
Ze'ev Raban
from the 1930s is in the Judaica Collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art.[7] Sukkot
Sukkot
items[edit] Etrog
Etrog
Box

Silver etrog box

To protect the etrog during the Sukkot
Sukkot
holiday, it is traditionally wrapped in silky flax fibers and stored in a special box, often made from silver.[8] In modern times, the etrog is also commonly wrapped in synthetic netting, and placed in cardboard boxes. Wooden boxes are increasingly popular as well. Books[edit] Passover haggadah[edit] The tradition of artistically embellished haggadahs, the Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder, dates back to the Middle Ages. The Sarajevo Haggadah
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. Notable Judaica collections[edit] Museums with notable collections of Jewish ceremonial art
Jewish ceremonial art
include the British Library,[9] the Israel Museum, the Jewish Museum (London), the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme
in Paris, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the North Carolina Museum of Art,[7] the Jewish Museum (New York), the Musée Lorrain
Musée Lorrain
in Nancy,[10] the Musée alsacien in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
and the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Contemporary Jewish Museum
of San Francisco.[11] 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. Sotheby's, Bonhams-New York, Skinner's and Kestenbaums routinely hold regular auctions each year. See also[edit]

Religious art

References[edit]

^ Kanof, Abram (1982). Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance. New York: Abrams. ISBN 9780810921993. ^ "Spice Container". The Jewish Museum. thejewishmuseum.org. Retrieved 2016-12-23. ^ Luminous Art: Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Menorahs of The Jewish Museum, Susan L. Braunstein, Jewish Museum, New York, 2004 ^ Lighting the Way to Freedom: Treasured Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Menorahs of Early Israel, Aaron Ha'tell, Yaniv Ben Or, Devora Publishing (November 29, 2006) ^ Berman, Nancy M. (2016). The Art of Hanukkah. Universe Publishing. ISBN 9780789332516. ^ Agam Brass Menorah ^ a b Mending Wounds in the Judaic Collection – North Carolina Museum of Art Untitled Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Aish ^ British Library http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/barcelona.html.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Les Juifs et la Lorraine, un millénaire d’histoire partagée, Musée Lorrain, Nancy ; Somogy – Éditions d’Art, 2009, p. 164 ; this collection is temporarily not on public display in 2017. ^ The Contemporary Jewish Museum
Contemporary Jewish Museum
of San Francisco

External links[edit]

The Bezalel Narkiss I

.