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Obj. ID: 5344
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Mizrah plaque, Austria-Hungary, ca. 1900

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 2000

The rectangular horizontal Mizrah plaque is divided into three parts, shaped as gates.

The middle gate is composed of two horizontal rectangles, one above the other.

The upper rectangle is surrounded by two laurel branches and bears a Hebrew inscription, written in square letters and forming an arch:

"ממזרח/ שמש עד מבואו מהלל שם/ יהוה (תהילים קיג:ג)"

Translation: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised (Psalms 113:3)

The inscription appears on the background of snowed mounts lighted by sun rays. The Tablets of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments and the Ark of the Covenant are depicted under the inscription. The Ark is rectangular and two horizontal staffs for bearing are attached to its front and back sides. At its center, there are frontal Tablets of the Covenant. On either side of them are two cherubim sitting on the Ark and facing each other. The Ark is flanked by burning vases, standing on ornamental pedestals.

The Ark is based on a trapezoidal pedestal, within which a Hebrew inscription is written in square letters:

"דע לפני מי אתה עומד (שילוב אבות ג:א, ד:כב, ברכות כח ע"ב)"

Translation: Know before whom you are standing (compilation of Mishnah, Avot 3:1,4:22, B.T. Ber. 28b)

Another inscription appears under the pedestal:

"ועתה ישראל מה יהוה אלהיך שאל מעמך אם לוראה את/ יהוה אלהיך ללכת בכל דרכיו ולאהבה אתו ולעבד את יהוה/ אלהיך בכל/ לבבך ובכל נפשך (דברים י:יב)"

Translation: And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deut. 10:12)

 

The lower rectangle bears a depiction of the Western wall in Jerusalem. The scene is composed of a narrow alley, turning leftwards, between two walls. Several people pray, facing the right wall. It is topped by a framed inscription:

"שויתי יהוה/ לנגדי תמיד (תהילים טז:ח)"  

Translation: I have set the Lord always before me (Psalms 16:8)

The inscription is divided in its center by Tablets of the Covenant, which contain the numbers I-X and are surmounted by two wings and a crown above. Similar smaller crowns with a single wing flank the inscription. A row of semi-circles, bearing Sanctuary Implements is attached to the lower frame of the inscription. The central semi-circle, under the Tablets of the Covenant, is decorated with the rectangular Ark of the Covenant, supported by four legs. On its right side are: the Altar of Sacrifice, depicted as a burning basin; the Shewbread Table, composed of two vertical constructions, divided into three shelves each one; the trapezoidal Basin with two handles. On the left side are the seven-branched Menorah, composed of semi-circular branches only; ?; the Basin, similar to the opposite one.             

The central part of the plaque is topped by a stepped gable. The gable is surmounted by a small domed pavilion. It precedes an attic-like wall stretched between two ornamented pilasters.

The right and the left vertical parts of the plaque are shaped as symmetrical gates, based on ornamented high pedestals. The gates are flanked by thin columns with lotus-like capitals. The columns support an entablature, topped by onion-shaped domes. Before each gate, Moses and Aaron are depicted. Moses, on the right, is bearded and two rays of light radiate from his head. He wears white robe, covered by a blue mantle. His left hand holds the Tablets of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, while his right hand points to them. On the left side, there is Aaron, dressed as a Templepriest: he bears a coat and an upper robe, edged by bells and pomegranates. The breastplate is put upon his robe and on his head is a mitre. He points leftwards to the seven-branched Menorah, composed of knops and flowers and supported by three legs. Two lions sit on either side of the middle gate, facing each personage.

Under three gates there is a stepped pedestal, divided vertically by trapezoidal ornament, which corresponds to the divisions of the gates. Three Hebrew inscriptions are written in square letters within each part of the pedestal:

 "שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד" (דברים ו:ד)

Translation: Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4)

"כי רצו עבדיך את אבניה ואת עפרה יחננו" (תהילים קב:טו)

Translation: For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof" (Psalms 102:14)

"ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד" (?)

Translation: ?

The architraves of the lateral gates, are divided into four vertical units, and are topped by domes, divided into two vertical units. Each unit bears the attribute of the tribes of Israel, arranged according to birth. The right one (from right to left) bears:

  1. Tribe of Reuben depicted as a field of wheat;
  2. Tribe of Simeon depicted as a twisted sword;
  3. Tribe of Levi depicted as a grape-vine;
  4. Tribe ofJudahdepicted as a lion facing rightwards;
  5. Tribe of Dan depicted as a twisted serpent;
  6. Tribe of Naphtali depicted as a hind and a seating dog.

The left gate bears (from right to left):

  1. Tribe of Gad depicted as a blue flag decorated with red stars;
  2. Tribe of Asher depicted as a vase with wheat;
  3. Tribe of Issachar depicted as a standing donkey facing leftwards;
  4. Tribe of Zebulun depicted as a ship on the sea;
  5. Tribe of Joseph depicted as a palm tree;
  6. Tribe of Benjamin depicted as a wolf facing rightwards.

Under the twelve tribes, within each gate, there is a Hebrew inscription and their translation into German, surrounded by a rectangular frame.

Within the right gate:

"ימלא פי תהלתך כל היום תפארתך" (תהילים עא: ח)

Translation: Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day" (Psalms 71:8)

Within the left gate:

"קולי אל יהוה אקרא ויענני מהר קדשו סלה" (תהילים ג:ה)

Translation: I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah" (Psalms 3:4) 

Summary and Remarks
Remarks

11 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Mizrah plaque | Unknown
Object Detail
Psalms
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
ca. 1900
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Italy | Sc_528
| 38
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Unknown
Material / Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
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Colors
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Measurements
Height
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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
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
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Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

ד' בהט וש' צבר, ירושלים. אבן ורוח, תל אביב, 1997, עמ' 147

Type
Documenter
Eliad Moreh | 14.07.2000
Author of description
Ilona Steimann | 20.08.2003
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar |
Language Editor
Judith Cordozo |
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |