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Obj. ID: 36690
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Mezuzah Cover, Fes (Fez), circa 1930

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Bar Hama, Ardon, -

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

A mezuzah (Hebrew: מְזוּזָה‎ "doorpost"; plural: מְזוּזוֹת mezuzot) is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses compose the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD (is) our God, the LORD is One". In the mainstream, i.e. Rabbinic Judaism, a mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house" (Deuteronomy 6:9). Some interpret Jewish law to require a mezuzah on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms and closets too small to qualify as rooms. The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case.

The Mezuzah for the interior room in a Jewish home in Morocco consisted of an elaborate cover over a niche in the usually plaster wall in which the parchment of the Mezuzah was placed. This cover was made for Rachel Tzayag of Fez and bears her name. Such Mezuzah covers are most commonly cut out or engraved with the name of a woman. This style was common in Fez for more than thirty years, beginning in the 1920's. It would appear that there was at least one workshop of Jewish silversmiths specializing in this cutout technique with engraving. Silver and gold work in Morocco was almost exclusively in Jewish hands. It was a specialty of many Jewish craftsmen in Fez, where the many shops of the artisans line the main street of the Mellah, the Jewish area of the city. While this is of the shield shape in which most such covers are found, it is somewhat smaller and carries a different pattern in the center than most others which are similar to the other shield-shaped example in the Gross Family Collection.

Inscription: Shadai Rachel Tzayag

1 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Mezuzah Cover | Unknown
Object Detail
shield-shaped
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
circa 1930
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Silver, Pierced, Engraved
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 24.2 cm, Width: 16.2 cm
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
Quality: Ram's head
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
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.