Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 16

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the horn of redemption (fig. 4). Another interesting Haggadah,
which was printed in Amsterdam in 1695 and enjoyed many
editions, displays a still wider selection of subjects. These include
the Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea, Moses on Mt. Sinai, and
the Holy Sanctuary and Jerusalem (fig. 5). A pictorial map of
Eretz-Israel is appended. All these illustrations, including the
map, are the work of a single artist who styles himself “Abraham,
son of Jacob of the family of Abraham the Patriarch.” Actually,
he was a Christian monk who accepted Judaism and adopted this
characteristically Jewish appellation.
Very fanciful picturizations of Jerusalem appeared in marriage
contracts (
ketubot)
in earlier days. Their purpose was to embel-
lish the
ketubot
by including as decorations those Hebrew por-
tions of Jeremiah 33. 10-11 which are part of the traditional
marriage ritual: “Yet again there shall be heard . . . even in the
cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem . . . the voice of
joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and
the voice of the bride.” Occasionally, the decoration came from
Psalm 137. 5-6: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand
forget its cunning . . . If I set not Jerusalm above my chiefest
joy.”
A likeness of Jerusalem also decorated
ketubot
issued in various
Italian towns; some of them have been reproduced in literature
dealing with the subject. A
ketubah
from Mantua, dated 1638, is
in the New York Public Library. A beautiful picture of Jeru-
salem “and mountains around her” appears in an illustrated
ketubah
which was issued in 1727 in the Italian village of
Rivarolo. A similar illustration, found in a
ketubah
dated 1738,
is preserved in the Jewish Museum in London, while still another
comes from Ancona, Italy, and bears the year 1776.
A new edition of
Tsena Vareena,
a Yiddish translation of the
Pentateuch, appeared in Amsterdam about 1766. One of the few
extant copies of this work is kept in the Schocken Library, Jeru-
salem. Among other themes, it illustrates the Biblical account
of the spies carrying large clusters of grapes from Hebron, Moses
contemplating the Land of Canaan from Mt. Nebo, the Holy Ark
borne from Kiryat-Yearim to Jerusalem, and Samson carrying
off the gates of Gaza. The nineteenth century witnessed the
appearance of landscapes of Eretz-Israel in Hebrew books printed
mainly in Jerusalem and in Safed. Still very naive and crude,
they portrayed holy places whose history was familiar to the
Jew from early childhood. If he could not satisfy his yearning
to prostrate himself at these hallowed sites, he could at least
obtain vicarious enjoyment in viewing their likeness. Pictures
of Jerusalem and of other holy shrines were reproduced on nap-
kins used to cover the Sabbath
halah,
on paper sheets with which
the booths were decorated during the Feast of Tabernacles, and
on banners that were waved on Simhat Torah.