Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 11019
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Circumcision knife, Tunis, 1942

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1992

The circumcision knife comprises a handle and blade (see: Remarks: no. 2). The handle is decorated on both sides: the front is engraved by the owner in square Hebrew filled letters:

"ע"ה (עבד ה') משה בן יעקב חבאבו ס"ט (סופו טוב). מוהל כ' אדר (שנת) שבת (702 (5)) ." 

"Servant of the Lord, Moses son of Jacob Hababo, may he end well, Mohel (circumciser). The 20th of Adar, 5702 (9.3.1942)."

 

The opposite side is decorated with an engrailed pattern and a small Star of David. The name "Hai Levi" was added in small linear letters (see: Remarks: no. 3).  

2 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Mous Khetâna | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1942
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Collection
Israel | Sc_082
| 16
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Silver
Structure: cut
Decoration: engraved
Bonding: none
Inscription: engraved
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Width: 14 mm
Length: 132 mm
Thickness: 6 mm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
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. The name was recorded by the ethnographer Paul Eudel (Eudel, Dictionnaire des Bijoux, 1906, p. 164; see also, Circumcision shield, Sc Sc.82(PC)-18.
  2. The shape of circumcision knives differs from place to place, and usually reflects the design of local knives used at mealtimes. The knife of both mohalim, Moses son of Jacob Hababo and Hai Levi, was designed as a simple knife and differs from the knives documented in Tunis in the beginning of the 20th century by the ethnographer Paul Eudel (Eudel, Dictionnaire des Bijoux, 1906, p. 164; fig. 1). The later resemble the shape of those used inLibya, designed as a pocket-knife (fig. 2). Natalia Berger claims that such pocket-knives were a tradition prevalent around the Ottoman Empire and Italy (Berger, "Instruments," 1997, pp. 39-40, fig. 11; Sabar, "Pregnancy", 2006, p. 66). Both designs are widespread inTunisiaandLibya, part of the same Ottoman environment.
  3. In North Africa (Tunisia, Libyaand Algeria) it was customary to inscribe the name of the mohel on the implements he used. Since two names are inscribed on our knife, it may be assumed that it was used by two different mohalim
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Moses son of Jacob Hababo was trained by R. David Perez, who practiced his occupation as a mohel in Tunis at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Perez had several students, among them Makhluf Elbaz, whose circumcision implements were also documented, Sc.82(PC)-18.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
• Berger, Natalia. "Instruments for Circumcision-Ritual Objects or Surgical Tools?." In Rimonim (5, 1997). Ed. Sabar, Shalom, 29-42. Jerusalem: Society for Jewish Art. In Hebrew. • Eudel, Paul. Dictionnaire des Bijoux de l'Afrique du Nord. Ernest Leroux, Éditeur, 1906. In French. • Shalom, Sabar. "Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Childhood." In The Life Cycle. Ed. Sabar Shalom, 14-91. Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institue for Study of Jewish Communities in the East, 2006. In Hebrew.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Yemima Leben | 04.85
Author of description
Ariella Amar | 06.11
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar | 06.11
Language Editor
Dvora Sax | 10.11
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.