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Obj. ID: 39393  Mizrach, Kremenets (?), 1925/26

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

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Name/Title
Mizrach | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1925/26
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community
Unknown |
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Period Detail
Gross Family Collection No.
056.016.001
Material/Technique
Polychrome muline thread embroidery in cross-stitch on linen ground.
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
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Measurements
Height: 60 cm, Width: 44.5 cm
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Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
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Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
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Description

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

Mizrah (Hebrew: מזרח "east") is the Hebrew word for "east" and the direction that Jews in the Diaspora face during prayer. Jewish law prescribes that Jews at prayer face the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. In addition, "Mizrach" refers to an ornamental wall plaque used to indicate the direction of prayer in Jewish homes. In a synagogue, that direction would be obvious as it is the side of the building on which the ark was placed. But in a home or Sukkah the direction had to be indicated. It is customary in traditional Jewish homes and the Sukkah to mark the wall in the direction of Mizrach to facilitate proper prayer. For this purpose, people use artistic wall plaques inscribed with the word Mizrach and scriptural passages like "From the rising (mi-mizrah) of the sun unto the going down thereof, the Lord's name is to be praised" (Ps. 113:3), Kabbalistic inscriptions, or pictures of holy places. Such plaques were most often manuscript forms or printed sheets, ranging from the simplest idea of the word only to elaborately decorated pages with a wide range of images and texts. These plaques are generally placed in rooms in which people pray, such as the living room or bedrooms. The four letters of the Hebrew word MiZRaCH are sometimes indicated as the initial letters of the Hebrew phrase Metzad Zeh Ruach CHaim (From this side the source of life).

This example is a folkish embroidery that serves multiple purposes. It is a Mizrach, signifying the eastern wall, the direction of prayer. It serves as a Kaddish reminder with the dates of the deaths of the parents. It holds several quotations reminding the viewer of the Lord and man's duty to Him. Embroidered decorations are done in vividly colored thread. There is the Temple Menorah with two lions representing the cherubim. There are the two pillars of the Temple. There are, in addition, two roosters, two birds, floral decoration and a geometric border. Either lying on a table or hanging on a wall, this textile would have been a charming and colorful addition to the home.

Inscription: Know before whom you are standing: before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He (compilation of Mishnah Avot 3:1 & 4:22 and Babylonian Talmud Berachot 28b) Mizrach -- From This Direction is the Spirit of Life The Crown Of Torah Be swift as the eagle, brave as the lion, strong as the leopard and fleet as the gazelle (paraphrase of Mishnah Avot 5:20) I have set the Lord always before me (Psalms 16:8) Man worries over the loss of his wealth and takes no care over the loss of his days. His wealth will not come to his aid. The days of his life will not return (Sefer Hachayim 10:1) The memorial day of my father Aharon Moshe is the 10th day of the month of Iyyar The memorial day of my mother Sarah is the 15th day of the month of Cheshvan The year (5)686 [=1925/26] Krenetz

Custom
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Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
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