Obj. ID: 18165
Jewish Architecture Great Synagogue in Slonim - Eastern wall and Torah ark
To the main object: Great Synagogue in Slonim - Interior
The eastern wall consists of two tiers, divided by a horizontal cornice-like molding with a “frieze” painted with floral motifs.
According to a pre-WWII photograph, the lower tier of the wall was painted with colonnades and open Torah arks with Torah scrolls (see photo in Yad Vashem Photos Archive).
The Torah ark is situated in the center of the eastern wall. The niche for the Torah cabinet is flanked by two Renaissance pilasters narrowing towards the bottom. Each pilaster is decorated by a painted flower. The entablature of the pilasters is painted with rosettes and acanthus leaves.
The upper part of the ark, above the cornice, is a kind of stylized Baroque gable, topped by a vase. In its center, two lions support the Tablets of the Law, which is placed inside a wreath and surmounted by a crown.
An oculus is situated above the ark in the central lunette. A bird sitting on a branch is painted on its upper side. The hands in the gesture of a priestly blessing are painted on the lunette above the oculus. Above the hands is an inscription: "יברכך" (He will bless you). The inscription is surmounted by a crown with Magen David. The southern side of the lunette features a depiction of an etrog in a container and the northern side has a depiction of lulav, hadas, and aravah.
The upper part of the ark is flanked by two pilasters. Each pilaster is surmounted by a painting of a vase of flowers. The northern pilaster has a depiction of a destroyed building near two cypress trees. This most likely represents the destroyed Jerusalem Temple. The southern pilaster has a painting of two stone walls with round-headed arches and two high trees are seen behind the wall. This painting likely represents the Western Wall of the Jerusalem Temple.
Each pilaster is decorated with a painting of a colonnade with Corinthian columns. The entablature of the colonnades continues on the pilasters. On their outer edges, the colonnades are topped with painted figures of lions in a prone position. Between the columns, the musical instruments used in the Temple are depicted.
| Shkol'naia St.
| 1 Sovetskaia St.
L | Lion
H | Heraldic composition | Central element | Tablets of the Law (central element of heraldic composition)
H | Heraldic composition | Supporters | Two lions
P | Priest (Cohen; See also: High Priest, Elazar the Priest) | Priestly Blessing
S | Synagogue | Synagogue interior | Torah Ark
T | Torah scroll