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Obj. ID: 5576
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Dedicatory plaque, Ioannina, 1913

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 2002
Summary and Remarks
  1. The motif of two guardant lions with human faces, set in a heraldic composition was common in Jewish art of Eastern Europe. This motif was copied frequently and was spread around the world. It also reached the Ottoman Empire, and was one of the decorations depicted on front pages of printed books. The depiction of such lions on some shadai'ot was probably modeled after front pages, such as those printed in Judah b. David Hazan's printing house in Izmir between the years 1754-1767 (see: fig. 2).
  2. Two identical plaques were donated for the same occasion to the synagogue, see: plaque JMG-66 (98.55).

The "Greek and Turkish War" mentioned in the inscription refers to the first Balkan War (1912-1913). As a result of this war, on 21st February 1913, Ioannina became part of Greece.

7 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Shadai'a | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1913
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Shape / Form
Unknown
Material / Technique
Silver
Material Stucture
cut, stamped (bells)
Material Decoration
repoussé, punched
Material Bonding
soldered
Material Inscription
engraved
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
173 mm
Length
Width
136 mm
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
0
Ornamentation
Custom
The silver dedicatory plaque is part of a unique group of sacred
objects known as shadai'ot (shadai'a in singular). The custom of
donating these plaques is common among the Greek Romaniot
communities. The name shadai'a is derived from God’s name,
"אל שדי" (El Shadai = God Almighty) which usually heads the dedicatory inscription. The plaque is also called a "takhshit," namely an ornament, which adorns the Torah, a term often inscribed on the plaques. This shadai'a is part of a larger group of plaques, documented in several collections around the world, which together forms the most comprehensive collection of shadai'ot.
The dedication of silver plaques as sacred objects is unique to the Greek Romaniot communities. Some inscriptions do reveal that occasionally they were donated with other ritual objects, such as a Torah scroll, a parokhet, or a mappah. Yet, unlike the common custom in other communities, they were not attached to specific ritual objects at the time of the donation. When a large number of shadai'ot plaques were assembled in a synagogue they were sewn on to a parokhet in a reversed "Π" shape. Some were also attached to Torah case wrappers or belts, which were probably hung along the walls of the synagogue on different occasions.
Although the events mentioned in the dedicatory inscriptions occurred at different times, the plaques were consistently donated to the synagogue on special days in the Jewish Year. The three pilgrimage festivals (Passover, Shavu'ot, Sukkot) are common, as well as Rosh Ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hodesh (the New Moon) and Sabbaths. Rarely does the date of the donation mentioned on the plaque indicate another day of the week.
The custom was practiced among the Romaniot communities of Arta, Ioannina, Previzia, and is still practiced in Trikala and Larissa. No differences were noticeable between the two congregations in Ioannina concerning shape, dedicatory formulas or names of donors. The only distinction between the Old and New Holy Congregations is the name of the synagogue (when it appears). Most contemporary shadai'ot from Trikala and Larissa differ from the others and are shaped as Stars of David enclosed within circles. Few of them maintain the early linguistic dedicatory formulas.
The shadai'ot are important historical documents, which reflect both the artistic and the cultural heritage of the Romaniot communities in Greece. Their importance goes beyond the art of sacred objects; this unique custom offers a fascinating window to the rich Greek Jewish culture in the past four hundred years.
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

The dedicatory inscription is topped by a crown and flanked by two guardant lions. 

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
  1. There were two synagogue compounds in Ioannina: the Old Holy Congregation and the New Holy Congregation. The Old Congregation Synagogue was probably built in the 17th century, although its name for the first time appeared on a dedicatory plaque dating to 1726 (Sc.525-215). The fact that the Old Congregation Synagogue is mentioned only from this date onward indicates the establishment of a new synagogue – namely the New Holy Congregation and probably reflects the need to distinguish between the two synagogues.
  2. The plaque was donated to the Museum by the Jewish community of Ioannina on 29.06.98.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

-       Amar, Ariella, and Irina Chernetsky. Shadai'ot: The Collection of the Jewish Museum of Greece. Jerusalem: The Center for Jewish Art, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006. Internal publication.

-       Ya'ari, Abraham. Hebrew Printers' Marks from the Beginning of Hebrew Printing to the End of the 19th Century. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University Press, 1944. In Hebrew.

 

Type
Documenter
Irina Chernetsky | 04.02
Author of description
Irina Chernetsky, Ariella Amar | 06.04
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
Ariella Amar | 11.04
Language Editor
Judith Cardozo | 11.04
Donor
UNESCO |
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |