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The Art of Crafting Jewish Religious Objects

Jun 26, 2008
The artistic beauty of silver Judaica art has a historical time line referred all the way back to the Old Testament of Exodus 31:1-6. With silver being the preferred precious metal within many lands for many centuries, silver Judaica has very little artworks to have survived before the 16th century. Many silver Judaica objects of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved in museum and private collections. With each object representing the ceremonial observance of the many religious ceremonies, there is considerable consistency within what the Silver Judaica object its self is, but creative variations upon the finalization and stylization of the object is left up to the artisan whom crafted it. In today's objects, it is not only the Jewish artists creating beautiful, but required ritual works of art, there are also many non-Jewish artists.

The artistic beauty of silver Judaica art has a historical time line referred all the way back to the Old Testament of Exodus 31:1-6. In this section of the Old Testament, it is said that the craftsmen Bezalel, Oholiab and several others created the first Sanctuary and the first silver Judaica ritual and priestly items for the practice of the Judaic religious ceremonies. With so many religious ceremonies to recognize, the needs and desires for these types of ceremonial objects of precious materials is an on going production.

With silver being the preferred precious metal within many lands for many centuries, silver Judaica has very little artworks to have survived before the 16th century. Many silver Judaica objects of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved in museum and private collections. Since these were products of individual hand craftsmanship, there are many whom believed these particle artworks are held up to be the prime example of what Judaica should look like and consist of in the idealistic image. When the Industrial Revolution came about, objects were based upon those original hand crafted images of what Silver Judaica was "supposed" to look like.

Today it is common to find these artistically beautiful works of art in the home, not just in the Synagogue. The goal in creating Silver Judaica is for the artists to produce highly sacred objects for enriching the observing participation and to be able to reflect the Talmudic idea of Hiddur mitzvah. Hiddur mitzvah is the Jewish term for "the glorification and enhancement of Jewish ceremonies or the "observance in beauty".

With each object representing the ceremonial observance of the many religious ceremonies, there is considerable consistency within what the Silver Judaica object its self is, but creative variations upon the finalization and stylization of the object is left up to the artisan whom crafted it. For example, the well recognized Hanukkah lamp is importantly historical by religious nature, there is the unique artistic creativity of most each Hanukkah lamp its self.

In today's objects, it is not only the Jewish artists creating beautiful, but required ritual works of art, there are also many non-Jewish artists. With the personal respect in the basis guidelines of the objects themselves, creative process is too encouraged of the ritual spiritual objects being created. There is inspiration within the non-Jewish artist because of their artwork being so genuinely cherished and passed on down through various family generations for the admiration and spiritual practices of the Silver Judaica.
About the Author
Anita Satin Choudhary writes for Ivory and Art Gallery. Browse the gallery for unique collection of artifacts ranging from Silver Judaica to Mammoth Ivory Figurines and Netsuke
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