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Illuminated leaf with illustration of the Menorah

Illuminated leaf with illustration of the Menorah

Illuminated leaf with illustration of the Menorah

Handwritten on parchment; ink, tempera, and gold leaf

H: 29; W: 23.6 cm

Gift of Jakob Michael, New York, in memory of his wife, Erna Sondheimer Michael

Accession number:

B68.0057

180/059

Jewish Art and Life

Since the Temple’s destruction, depictions of its seven-branched candelabrum (Menorah) have served a symbol of the Temple and of redemption. Medieval Hebrew manuscripts contain many portrayals of the Menorah alongside other Tabernacle and Temple vessels. In Spain and Provence, these were especially profuse, and the Bible codex was sometimes called a Mikdashyah (God’s Temple).
This single leaf, probably part of a manuscript, shows the Menorah symmetrically flanked by tongs, incense shovels, and the three-stepped stone on which, according to the Mishnah, the priest stood to trim the lamp.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Perugia, Gioia (ed.), Treasures of Jewish Art: The Jakob, Erna, and Charles Michael Legacy in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2016