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Obj. ID: 7213
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Sabbath lamp, Afghanistan, 1st half of the 20th century

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1988

The silver Sabbath lamp consists of an oil container, a tray, and a handlebar.

The octagonal base has a raised edge and is mounted on four foliate-shaped legs. Its border is decorated by geometrical and foliate motifs.

An oil container is mounted over a tapering shaft on a floral disk. The bowl-shaped oil container has two pointed spouts. Its
borders are encircled by bands of branches and other foliate and geometrical patterns.

The flat and undulating bar is attached to the back of the tray. It terminates in a Star of David inscribed with the word ציון Zion. Two birds facing outwards are in the center of the bar, which is decorated with geometrical and foliate patterns.

The bar bears an inscription which is engraved in outline letters, and reads:

כי / נ[ר] /מצ'[וה] /ותורה/ אור/ ל/ שבת קדש

Translation: For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light (Prov 6;23) for the holy Shabbath

Summary and Remarks
Remarks

6 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Cheragh Sabbath lamp | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1st half of the 20th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Unknown
Material / Technique
Silver, Hammered, cut, cast, Engraved, soldered, screwed
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
26 cm
Length
Width
9.6 cm (base)
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
8.5 cm (oil container)
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
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
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
As everywhere in the Jewish world, the Sabbath is introduced by the kindling of lights. According to a tradition known to us from Talmudic times, an oil lamp was lit. The early Persian oil lamps, and the more recent lamps used for lighting homes in this region of the Orient, generally consisted of a vessel made of clay, glass, or metal within which the wick floated in the oil.
 
A typical Afghan Sabbath lamp is a concave silver vessel with decorated borders, mounted on a shaft that stands in the center of a three or four-legged flat base with raised borders. Protruding from the front of the vessel are two spouts, alluding to the double invocation of the commandment: "Remember the Sabbath day. to keep it holy" (Ex. 20:8) and "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it" (Deut. 5:12). Similar Sabbath lamps were still in use at the beginning of the twentieth century.
 
Later, two separate vessels replaced the two spouts, and each wick burned in its separate container. Eventually, a pair of candle holders, intended for wax candles, were added, one on each side of the base.
 
According to tradition, the women of the Afghan community took great pains to spin the wicks out of cotton or linen, making sure that the number of threads in the wick corresponded to the number of men reading from the Torah on that particular holy day. Thus, on the Sabbath the wick was twisted out of seven threads, on Yom Kippur - six, on other festivals - five, and on intermediate days (Hol Hamo'ed) and New Moon (Rosh Hodesh) the wick consisted of four threads.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Hanegbi, Zohar and Bracha Yaniv, Afghanistan : the synagogue and the Jewish home (Jerusalem: Center for Jewish Art, 1991), pp. 28-29, 143.
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.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |