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Obj. ID: 11853
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Reader's Desk Cover, Bulgaria, 1921

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 08.1998

The square Reader’s desk cover (?) encloses a central floral motif, which comprises four baskets with flowers, surrounded by similar vases radiating from the corners and small flowers set in-between them. A Hebrew dedicatory inscription, embroidered in square letters is arranged vertically and around the central motif, and reads:

"לק"ק (לקהל קדוש) / הקדש ישורון / לזכר מרדכי חיים טאג'יר נ"ע (נוחו עדן) / שנהרג כ"ג ניסן ./. ת' פ' א' ר'  ((5)681;1.05.1921 ) ביפו / בהגנו על כבוד עמנו / מהורי המנוח."

Translation: Dedication to the holy congregation hekdesh Yeshurun, in memory of Mordechai Haim Tager, may he rest in Eden, who was killed on the twenty-third of Nisan (5)681 (1.05.1921) in Jaffa, while protecting the honour of our people, (dedicated) by the deceased parents.” (See: Remarks: no. 2)

The cloth is framed by a wavy flowering branch.

Summary and Remarks

1. Plovdiv is situated in southeastern Bulgaria. Since the 18th century, most of the Jews were living in the Orta Mizar neighborhood, around a courtyard that comprised public buildings, including synagogues, a beit midrash (a house of study) and a slaughterhouse. The Yeshurun synagogue, also named Il kahal grandi, in Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), was built at an unknown date on the ruins of an older synagogue from 1768. The synagogue was renovated in 1848 and demolished during the Communist regime. The Reader’s desk cover is one of two ritual objects that survived from this synagogue and testify to its existence. The other documented object is a Torah crown from 1930, see: Sc.508-64.

2. The donors’ son was probably killed while defending the inhabitants of the Jewish immigrants' building in the ajami neighborhood in Jaffa, on 1 May, 1921. The building was attacked by a riled-up Arab mob reinforced by Arab policemen (See: Fierberg, “Yoman”; Dinur, Me-hagganah, pp. 77-109; Porat, Zemihat, pp.104-108).

The order of the letters which form the Hebrew year תרפא ((5)681) was changed in the dedicatory inscription to designate the Hebrew verb תפאר (you will glorify), to dignify the death of one who defended Jewish national honour. 

Remarks

9 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
| Unknown
Object Detail
?
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1921
Active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Shape / Form
Unknown
Material / Technique
Cotton, metal threads
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
gold and silver metal threads in a laid and couched embroidery Foundation: cardboard
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
ochre cotton threads in laid and couched embroidery Foundation: cardboard
Material Additions
paiets
Material Cloth
bordeaux cotton velvet
Material Lining
cotton in tabby
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
860 mm
Length
Width
860 mm
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition

The cloth is worn.

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
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
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The cloth is apparently a secondary use of a pillow cover, typical of Ottoman embroideries, see: Yohas, “Arigim.”

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

-      Ben-Zion, Dinur, ed. Me-hagganah le-ma'avak. Vol. 2, Part 1 of Sefer toldot Ha-Hagganah. Tel-Aviv: Ministry of Defence, 1971.

-      Fierberg, Haim. “Yoman Ha-Hagganah shel Tel Aviv be-me`ora’ot tarpa, mabat bikorti ‘al makor histori.” In Homat magen: Shemonim shana le-irgun Ha-Hagganah (Eighty years of the Hagganah), edited by Dani Hadari, 35-83. Alei-Zait Va-herev 4. Israel: Ministry of Defense and Galili Center for Defense Studies, 2002. In Hebrew.

-      Nitzani, Jacob. “The Jewish Community of Plovdiev: The Mother City of Zionism in Bulgaria,” Reshumot 5 (New Series; 1953): 25-50. In Hebrew.

-      Porat, Yehoshu’a. Zemihat ha-tenu’a ha-leumit ha-arvit-ha-palestina'it, 1918-1929. Jerusalem: The Institute of Asia and Africa Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1971. In Hebrew.

-      Rosanes, Salomon. Korot Ha-Yehudim Be-Turkia ve-arzot kedem. Vol. 5. Sofia: Hamishpat, 1937-1938. In Hebrew.

-      Juhasz, Esther. “Arigim ve-rikmot ba-bayit u-be-beit ha-keneset.” In Yehudei Sepharad Ba-Imperia Ha-Ottomanit.  Edited by Esther Juhasz, 64-119. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 1989. In Hebrew.

Type
Documenter
Einat Ron and Gila Pollack | 08.98
Author of description
Einat Ron | 10.07
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar | 10.07
Language Editor
Judith Cardozo | 10.07
Donor
UNESCO |
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |