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An important Shiviti Plaque, papercutAleppo, Syria, 1865Ink on paper, cardboard, carved wood, mother of pearl inlayThis large, complete and outstanding tablet, which emanates from one of the most important Jewish communities that flourished in the middle East, is a genuine sophisticated artifact testifying of the high quality of the arts and crafts among the Jews of Aleppo in the mid-19th century. While the entire wooden framework reflects Islamic arts and crafts, the centre of the piece has a typically Jewish iconographic and textual content. The central motif is the seven-branched menorah, inscribed with the words of Psalm 67.Above the menorah appears the biblical verse often associated with this type of tablet : « I am ever mindful of the Lord’s presence » (Psalm 16 :8). The inscription beneath the menorah reads : « This pure menorah [was made] to commemorate the soul of the deceased David Dwek (famous family from Aleppo), son of Zakiah of blessed memory of the Holy Community of AR »Z [Aleppo], in the year [5]625 [1865]. » This year is defined in the inscription by the numerical value of the word « HAKETER » (the Crown), referring to « Keter Aram Zova » [Aleppo Codex]. The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of the bible written in Tiberias in the 10th century. It was kept in the central synagogue of Aleppo for several centuries. When the Synagogue was andalized in the riots of 1947, the Codex disappeared, and only a part (estimated at 60% of the manuscript) was found years later in Israel. It can be assumed that the reference to the Aleppo Codex in this « Shiviti » plaque indicates that it would have decorated one of the walls of the central synagogue of Aleppo in the past.H_113 cm L_66 cm (incl. cadre) (44 ³¹/₆₄ x 25 ⁶³/₆₄ in)H_56 cm L_35 cm (sans cadre) (22 ³/₆₄ x 13 ²⁵/₃₂ in)The presence of Jews in Syria dates back to the Antiquity, according to the tradition.

Location of the item
France - 75116 - paris
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