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Obj. ID: 39395  Shiviti plaque, Shiraz, 1893

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

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Name/Title
Shiviti plaque | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1893
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Gross Family Collection No.
058.013.001
Material/Technique
Cloth, Ink, Written
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 120 cm, Width: 82 cm FRAMED
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Hallmark
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
Description

The following description was prepared by William Gross: The Shiviti plaque takes its name from a phrase in the Psalms, "Shivit Adonai Lenegdi Tamid". "I will always hold the Lord before me." During morning prayers the 67th psalm is read as a part of the liturgy. The making of such visual pages to augment the reading started almost 500 years ago. It began because of a particular story or legend. The custom relates that if one gazes on the form of the Menorah while reciting the Psalm, or reads the psalm written in the form of a Menorah, the person is carried back to the Temple, standing before the golden Temple Menorah itself. To complete the illusion, some of the Temple implements were often illustrated. The mysticism of the idea is clear, and the Shiviti page is often filled with Kabbalistic abbreviations as well as the Menorah form. Sometimes, depending on the size and complexity of the image, other texts read during the time of prayer are also presented on the sheet. Such pages appear as small sheets to be inserted into a prayer book and taken out when the psalm is recited or as large pages to be hung on the wall of the synagogue for the viewing by the whole congregation. The sheet was also used on the wall of a home or Sukkah. Later still, the Shiviti could be printed in the prayer book or painted on the wall of the synagogue. There are numerous examples of both the prayer book tradition and the wall plaque tradition in the Gross Family Collection.

The largest Shiviti in the Gross Family Collection, this example is highly unusual in that it is painted on cloth. It is filled with Kabbalistic inscriptions and in its overall form is very similar to many of the silver Shiviti amulets from Iran also in the Gross Family Collection. It was placed on the wall of a synagogue, and the congregants would gaze on the shape of the Menorah as they recited Psalm 67. There is mystical tradition that gazing on this Menorah shape during the saying of this particular psalm will transport the person to standing before the golden Menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem. The seller of this Shiviti says that he brought it from a synagogue in Shiraz, where it hung high on the front wall of the space.

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
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
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Full Name
Volume
Page
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Architectural Drawings
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