Forgotten Judaica recalls a time when craftsmen embellished Jewish ceremonial objects with leaves and vines, pomegranates and sunflowers, rams and lions; a time when ritual objects were narrative, pulling the beholder back to an age that recalls heroes and miracles, providing a keen sense of protection and satisfaction.
These embellished Judaica pieces were made of tin, pewter, copper, bronze and silver. They often depicted a passage found in the Torah or Talmud. They might recall a popular Yiddish folktale. More often, Judaica from this era simply celebrated nature itself.
Historically, Jewish law forbade artisans from using images of the human figure. As early as the third century Judaica makers turned to animal forms, vegetable and fruit motifs, even architectural images, to express aesthetic pleasure. As the Talmud encourages us through hiddur mitzvah, “make ceremonial objects with an eye to beauty.”
Our collection features a spice box that recalls Abraham's Ram, walnuts that hold Shabbat candles, and Mezuzah covers that bring the power of the Torah into the home. Through their grace and presence, Torah pointers, Kiddush cups, Tzedakah boxes and other pieces in our collection celebrate and “intuitively capture the historical dimensions of the Jewish experience.”