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Obj. ID: 13804
Modern Jewish Art
  Sgan-Cohen, Psalm 78

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Laor, Liora, 03.1995

Psalm 78 is written in 6 parts of overlapping uneven columns of text written in cursive or printed letters, varying in size and boldness. The text also incorporates small illustrations. The two uneven columns on the right are divided into four parts while the two straight columns at the center are more complete than the rest. These four columns occupy most of the sheet, while the two columns on the left occupy only the top part of the sheet. The number 78 is written in Hebrew cursive letters on the reverse side of the sheet in the lower left corner. ע"ח The two columns on the right are written in 40 lines in letters of varying boldness with most of the first column in small letters. The columns are divided into four parts as follows: verses 1-5 on lines 1-8; verses 6-8 on lines 9-12: verses 9-20 on lines 9-23: and verses 20-33 on lines 24-40. The verses extend along both columns. The first line of the first column composes two words: "Maschil of Asaph",(78:1) Asaph is in printed letters. משכיל לאסף At the end of the third line of the second column the word "of old" ( 78:2) is written in large, wide, printed letters. קדם The first word on line 6 of the first column is crossed out. The first word on line 10 in the second column is also crossed out. A heart is depicted in the middle of line 12 after the word "their heart" ( 78:8). לבו At the begining of line 17 of the first column the words "divided the sea" (78:13) are written in wide printed letters. The last word on line 16 of the second column, "Zoan" (78:12) is written in printed letters with the letter "Zadi" encircled. בקע ים, צען Verse 13 on line 18 of the second column "and he made the waters to stand as a heap" and verse 14 on line 19 "and all the night in a light of fir" are written in large, bold, and more expressive letters. ויצב מים כמו נד וכל הלילה באור אש The words "streams out of the rock" (78:13) on lines 26-27 are written in bold block letters with the letter Ayn for the word "rock" presented even larger than the others. נוזלים מסלע Arrows drawn from lines 24-25 of the first column to the same lines in the second column indicate the correct location for the words in verse 20: "Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed." הן הכה צור ויזובו מים ונחלים ישטפו On line 30 of the second column, the words "opened the doors of heaven" are written in large, bold, block letters, while the words on line 31 are written in bold blurred letters: "manna upon them to eat"(78:24). שמיים פתח ודגן שמיים נתן למו The words on line 32 of the second column: "sent them meat to the full"(78:25) are written in thin, sharp letters. A blue wing on a black background is depicted after lines 32-36 llustrating the verse "and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea" וכחול ימים עוף כנף On line 40 of the second column, the word "trouble" (78:33) is written in stretched, punctuated letters, at the very buttom of the sheet. The two central columns are written in 32 lines in large clear letters. The first word of the third column, "when" (78:34) is written in even larger letters. אם On the fifth line of the third column the word "full of compassion" (78:38) is written in block letters with the last word "Final" in parenheses in very thin, small letters. The word "donkey" is written in square brackets immediatly below the word "compassion". רחום )סופית(, חמור The word "they" on line 7 of the third column (78:39) is written in fully punctuated printed letters. המה Line 9 in the third column is written in small thin letters and its last word is crossed out. Line 9 in the fourth column which reads "and limited the Holy of Israel"(78:41) is written in large, block letters. A pointing right-angled arrow is drawn at the end of the words וקדש ישראל התוו The next two lines of the third and fourth columns are written in small thin cursive letters except for the last word on line 10, "enemy" (78:42) and the last word on line 11, "Zoan" (78:43). The letter "Tzdi" in these words is encircled. A Torah crown is depicted after the word "Zoan". צר, צען A lion is depicted by lines 13-14 between both columns and a frog is depicted after the word "frogs" (78:45) in line 13 of the fourth column. A locust is drawn below on line 15 after the word "locust" (78:46). A drawing of a giraffe is set between the columns by lines 15-16 which slant down to the left between the words "sycamore trees" and the large bold words "with frost" (78:47). On line 15 of the fourh column a sycmore tree is drawn. Line 17 of both columns is merged and most of the words are written in large letters. A donkey head is depicted at the end of the line. A brick wall is drawn in thin lines on line 18 below the word "wrath" (78:39). An upside down face is drawn at the beginning of the fourth column by lines 19- 21. On line 22 of the fourth column the words "of his own people" (78:52)are written in very large letters. A wing is depicted at the end of the line. עמו The word "purchased" (78:54) on line 24 of the fourth column is written in large, bold, straight letters. A right hand writing with a pen is depicted after lines 24-26, illustrating the entire verse "... which his right hand had purchased" (78:54). קנתה A bearded man, sitting cross-legged as if in a meditation, is depicted after lines 28-33 of the fourth column. The letter Tzadi in the last word on line 31 where "enemy's" (78:61) is printed and encircled. Lines 1-4 of the last two columns are written in printed letters on well-spaced lines. Line 6 consists of one word only in the last column. Lines 7-12 are written as a group in cursive script or uneven lines which slant towards the end. Two lines are written seperately, beneath the last two columns. The words "their maidens were not given to marriage" (78:63) on the first line of the last column are written in large, uneven block letters. ובתולותיו לא הללו On the second line of the same column the words "made no lamentation" (78:64) are written in the same style. לא תבכינה A goblet of wine depicted at the end of lines 4-5 of the last column illustrates verse 65: "reason of wine." On line 8, the words "tabernacle of Joseph" (78:67) are written in the middle of the line in large bold letters. The word "Joseph" is written in even larger and more full letters at the center of the column. An illustration of the Dormition Church is depicted at the end of line 7 after the words "mount Zion" (78:68). אהל יוסף

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Sgan-Cohen, Psalm 78 | Unknown
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Oil crayon on beige paper
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Willi Mendelsohn | 11/30/15
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