Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by David Harris
Elijah's Chair for a circumcision ceremony
Dermbach, Germany
Before 1768
Wood, carved and painted
H: 110, L: 112, W: 55 cm
The Feuchtwanger Collection, purchased and donated by Baruch and Ruth Rappaport, Geneva
Accession number: HF 0009 ; 197/003
 
 
Elijah the prophet, regarded as the guardian of all Jewish children, is traditionally believed to be present at every circumcision ceremony. Accordingly, throughout the Jewish world, special chairs are made to provide him with a place of honor. Some of these chairs have a single seat and some have a double seat, as is the case here. One place is for the sandak (godfather), who held the child on his lap; the other is reserved for Elijah. The back of this chair is inscribed with the name of the person who commissioned it, Zelig Hendel Fach.

Publications:
Shachar, Isaiah, Jewish Tradition in Art: The Feuchtwanger Collection of Judaica, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1981
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004

Exhibition:
Highlights of the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Collections Online, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir