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Obj. ID: 10932
Jewish Architecture
  Ades Synagogue in Jerusalem - wall paintings

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1982

The synagogue’s walls and ceiling are covered with wall paintings, comprising the signs of the Tribes of Israel (Jacob's Sons) enclosed within medallions and depicted  at the upper register of the northern, eastern and western walls, read counter clockwise, around the synagogue, from the south - western corner. See

Pairs of Zodiac signs appear at the bottom part of the painting at the northern and southern walls, between the signs of tribes. They start with the signs of Lamb and Bull between Reuben and Simeon and end with the signs of Bucket and Fish between Joseph and Benjamin. 

The Seven Species are interlaced between the signs of the tribes and flank them.

The motifs are set against a carpet like background, composed of Stars of David, seven branched Menorahs, branches and flowers.

Biblical citations written in a Bezalel stylised Hebrew characters are inscribed around the walls, at their upper part and read: “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:7).

A dedicatory inscription appears at the eastern wall:
At the right side:The decoration work / is dedicated to the synagogue”.
At the left: “From the artist Yaacov Sztarck/ Bezalel, The holy city Jerusalem, May it be built and established speedily in our time, Amen.”
The date appears below the dedication within two Stars of David.
At the left: “The month of Heshvan” at the right: “The year (5)673 (October-November, 1912).”

A central framed square on the ceiling is painted with stars set against a blue sky, while flowering scrolls runs along the wooden beams above the prayer hall and in the women’s gallery. A grey paint covers today the scrolls and only traces are apparent.  

 

The mural depicting the signs of the twelve sons of Jacob is composed of twelve units, each containing a sign enclosed within a medallion set above an elongated cartouche with a triple pointed edge and the identification of the son (in Hebrew). Most of the signs are derived from Jacob’s blessing (Gen. 49:1-27), while others are based on varying biblical sources.

The signs are read clockwise, starting in the southern wall to the northern wall, depicted on three walls; four signs on each wall, starting with the eldest of Jacob’s sons Reuben.

The signs of Jacob's Sons are surrounded by depictions of the Seven Species (Deut. 8:8). Between each pair of tribes two zodiac signs are depicted.

33 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Ades Synagogue in Jerusalem | *Architecture | Synagogue
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1912-1913 (painted)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Israel | Jerusalem
| Nahlaot
Site
Unknown
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
  1. A postcard printed in Germanyin the early 20th century depicts a similar representation for Reuben, though the sea is the dominant motif, illustrating Jacob's blessing which describes Reuben as "Unstable as water" (Gen. 49:4). Sztarck, who most probably used this postcard as a model, changed the proportions between the sea and the sun; enlarged the sun and reduced the water. The artists in theBezalelSchool followed Sztarck, and reduced even more the sea. Thus, the sign of Reuben became gradually a rising sun.     
  2. According to interviews with the elders of the community, the snake which is the sign of Dan was erased after a pregnant woman had miscarried her infant, after seeing the snake.
  3. This depiction is unclear and no literal or visual sources had been found. 
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
At the past, paintings also appeared at the lower parts of the walls, at the ceiling and at the women’s gallery, they have been painted over and are now covered. The original colours of the remaining paintings faded.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Amar, Ariella. "L'art et L'artiste aux premiers Temps du Sionisme," in Perspective: Revue de L'Université Hébraïque de Jérusalem, Fernande Bartfeld, (Ed.), (11, 2004), 163 – 197.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
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Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.