"Shiviti" sign. [Central Europe, apparently Germany]. 1812; renewed in 1866. Black / brown and red ink on parchment. Impressive "Shiviti" used in the Synagogue. On its upper margins (in Aramaic): "Woe to the person who talks in the Synagogue". At the top: "Know before whom you are standing, before the King of Kings 'HaKadosh Baruch Hu'" and "Shiviti Hashem L'Negdi Tamid". In the center is an illustration of a "menorah" with verses from Psalms, supported by two lions, flanked by two flowers. All around are various letter combinations and Names of G-d. Written around the right, bottom and left margins: "Man worries about the loss of his money but does not worry about the loss of his days. His money does not help him and his days do not return". Acronym of "Turn away from evil and do good" and of "Only good to Israel forever". At the base of the "menorah" is the date the sign was manufactured, "5572", and at the sides, the name of the person who made it," Avraham Katz". Some of the letters and ornamentation have been damaged and restored in 1866 as written on the bottom margins: "Repaired and renewed by me Yidel Esheim in 5626". 33X34 cm. Two pieces, a few centimeters long, are missing and were restored by sewing in 1866. Two holes (apparently, one was used for hanging). Stains.
"Shiviti" for hanging on the wall of a Synagogue, with "piyutim" for Purim and the blessing said over reading the "megillah". [Iranian Kurdistan, late 19th century or beginning of 20th century]. Ink and paint on paper. In the center upper area is a "LaMenatzeach menorah". On the two remaining columns of the upper part and on the right column of the lower part is the piyut "Tnu Shira" / Yedidim Barchu Po'el Gevurot" by the poet Yafet ben Ye(hud)a (not complete), different from the familiar version. In the middle column at the bottom part are the blessings before reading the "megillah", and in the left column is an addition to the blessing "Harav Et Riveinu" for Purim. Part of the version of that addition is not known. The leaf is dated at the end: "Rosh Chodesh Adar 5425". Apparently, the person who made this "Shiviti" copied the "piyut" and the addition mentioned above from an early "Shiviti" poster, from 1665. The bibliographer and researcher Menashe Refael Lehman tells of a similar poster in the "Sinai" anthology (Issue 98, 1986, pp. 74-75): "The piyut 'Yedidim Barchu Poel Gevurot'… was not known until the present. It was written in various places on a parchment poster for Purim drawn in glorious colors and with clauses from the 'megillah'. I recently purchase the poster from an Arab merchant in the Old City of Jerusalem". Lehman adds that apparently, the poster originated in Persia. On the cardboard that comes with the leaf, the owner wrote "Bought in Jerusalem on August 1964". 31.9X39 cm. Fair condition. Tears, creases, stains and folding marks. Minor damages to writing. Glued on another leaf, on the reverse side are handwritten inscriptions. See: "Light and Shadows – The Story of Iran and the Jews" exhibition catalogue (Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, 2010), pp. 48-49.
Large "Shiviti" for hanging, with kabalistic motifs and letter-combinations for protection. Herat, Western Afghanistan, [end of 19th century or beginning of 20th century]. Ink on paper.
Large impressive "Shiviti". Adorned at the top with Stars of David, Tablets of Law and crowns; in the center are ten Psalms written in the shape of large "menorahs" and in the shape of a Star of David; in the margins and on the lower part are Psalms in the shape of arches.
At the bottom is a long text in Hebrew and Arabic / Persian Hebrew, incorporated with kabalistic letter combinations with the author's name as well: "Mashiach Ashgari The Small, dust under the feet of the wise, lives in Herat Afghanistan… for the well-being of the young man Shmuel Chayai --- he and his whole family and all --- and his relatives and all he has…". At the end of the text is the verse "G-d shall bless you, and make you fruitful and you shall become a congregation of nations" – a segula for fertility.
49X59 cm. in frame 61X71.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains. Tears, some with damage to text (especially in margins) – professionally restored. Creases and folding marks. Not examined out of frame.
["Shiviti"], "The merit of Rabbi David HaLevi should protect you", decorated leaf for hanging in the synagogue. Morocco, [19th century].
Ink and paint on parchment; gold color; tiny metal sequins.
At the top of the leaf is an illustration of a crown, under which the name of G-d appears above the inscription "The merit of Rabbi David HaLevi should protect you" [Rabbi David ben Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi of Daraa, a Spanish exile who reached Morocco in 1492; Torah scholar and mekubal, author of Sefer HaMalchut]. In the center of the leaf are three lamps. The drawing of the right lamp is composed of the words of Ana BeKoach, the middle lamp is composed of the words of Psalm 67 and the left is composed of the words of Psalm 121 (Shir LaMa'alot). Under the lamps is the version of a kabalistic prayer for livelihood from the Holy Zohar. The leaf has colored and golden decorations, in geometric and plant patterns; entirely enclosed in a window-shaped frame. The Ana B'Koach lamp and the Shir LaMa'alot lamp are also enclosed in pointed window-shaped frames. The row of flowers in a peripheral frame, the crown at the top of the leaf and the center lamp are decorated with tiny sequins, sewn to the parchment leaf (on the reverse side, papers were glued to protect the threads from unraveling).
40X59 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Minor damages to paint. Creases.
Four parchment amulets for protecting the home.
Ink on parchment, cut in the shape of a square.
Incantations, oaths, names of angels and letter combinations for protecting the home. Four amulets designated for hanging on four sides of the house, with the inscriptions "East", "West", "North" and "South".
Approximately 13X13 cm. Stains.
Amulet pendant for protection. [Oriental country, beginning of 20th century].
Metal, folk art engraving.
Names of angels and oaths.
Approximately 5X5 cm. Rust and welding marks. Broken hanging loop.
Prayer for "Tikun Keri". Large leaf, for hanging in the Synagogue. Rawitsch, Posen region, Germany / Poland, 1818.
Ink on thick paper.
Large handwritten leaf, for hanging in the Synagogue. At the top, the word "Yehi" is enlarged inside a round frame. The times for reading the prayer are specified on the right and left of the leaf: "On Shabbat when the New Month is blessed say this prayer"; "Look at the time the 'Chazan' says 'UMipnei Chata'enu'and say this prayer" (This prayer is said according to the "Mekubalim" in the Synagogue during "Birkat HaChodesh", on "Yamim Nora'im" and festivals during the "Mussaf" prayer). The word "Yehi", the instructions and the leaf's frame all have branch-like delicate decorations. At the bottom of the leaf, in an oval frame, is the year and name of the scribe: "Shmuel ben HaChaver Yeshaya the scribe of the Rawitsch community".
36X49.5 cm. frame 63.5X77.5 cm. Fair condition. Dark paper. Several blurred letters. Stains, tears and damage to margins, professionally restored. Not examined out of frame.
"Ushpizin", colored hand-illustrated poster. [Italy, 19th century].
Watercolor on cardboard.
In the center, in large letters, is the invitation to the "Ushpizin" on the third day of "Succot". [Written above the words in small letters: "Say on the third evening and on the third day"]. Surrounding the words is a colorful frame decorated with branches and flowers.
38X54 cm. Stains and wear.
Handwritten leaf, with the prayer said while opening the Torah Ark. France, [beginning of 20th century].
Ink and gold and silver paint on thick paper.
The text is written in black lettering, surrounded by illustrations of the Two Tablets of Law, lions holding a Torah scroll, angels and Stars of David, in gold and silver paint. On the bottom is a handwritten dedication in French, in memory of one of the members of the Kahane family, with note of the date of his death (June 29, no year noted).
27.5X60 cm. Fair-good condition. Many stains. Tears to margins. Few creases.
A single leaf in a large form with drawings of Jerusalem and texts describing the cities of Eretz Israel. Altona, 1859.
Written at the top of the leaf: "Account of the genealogy of the holy tzaddikim of Israel and its cities, Shechem, Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed". Next to this inscription is a similar English, German and French translation. The figure of Moshe Rabbeinu is on the right margin and the figure of Aharon the Cohen is on the left margin. In the center of the leaf are four drawings of Jerusalem and two small drawings of the Tomb of Zecharya and the Tomb of Rachel. Printed in the center of the leaf is a text detailing the location of the graves of tzaddikim near the Holy Cities. Printed at the bottom of the leaf is the inscription "If I forget you Jerusalem", drawings of "Yad Avshalom" (a drawing of two hands during Birkat Cohanim), Miriam's Well and a "LaMenatzeach" menorah. Printed on the bottom margin is an inscription citing the source of the text and attributing it to Rabbi Chaim ben Ya'akov Abulafia (the first): "This form has been found written in the handwriting of Rabbi Chaim Abulafia, the Rabbi of Jerusalem and I, R' Binyamin HaCohen Yehoram who sits in the medrash of Sonbol Altona has now printed it". Added on the reverse side are handwritten inscriptions (one is from the 19th century, on the subject of the redemption of Zion).
42X52.5 cm. Good-fair condition. The leaf has had professional, artisan rinsing and restoration. Folding marks, tears to margins, damages and stains (all restored). Missing tear to lower margin (approximately 4X12 cm.) – restored.
Amulet, protection for home and childbed. [Israel Back printing], Jerusalem, .
Printed in leaf margins, near frame, is the inscription "May it be your will G-d the G-d of Israel that you shall command your holy angels to protect this house from all types of illnesses and pain and misfortunes that happen suddenly in the world…". The leaf also has the "Shir LaMa'a lot", a square with the names of "Adam and Eve, Avraham and Sarah…", "Do not let a witch live…", name of angels, "If I forget you Jerusalem…" and a drawing (woodcut) of the city of Jerusalem.
20X28.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Tears, folding marks and stains. The leaf underwent restoration.
Rare. S. HaLevi no. 88. See also S. Halevi no. 87 and the Bibliography Institute CD Listing 0179368.
Mizrah / An Awesome prayer by Rabbi Yishmael Cohen Gadol. Single leaf, "From the new printing press of R' Avraham Rotenberg", Jerusalem, [c. 1866].
Printed on the four corners are drawings: The Western Wall, The Tomb of Rachel, The Tomb of Zecharya and "Ma'arat HaMachpela". At the top of the leaf, in the center: "Mizrah – the spirit of life is from this direction". Printed underneath is the title, An Awesome prayer by Rabbi Yishmael Cohen Gadol and under that is a rectangle with the inscription "Sha'ar Ora". The text itself is printed in three columns: printed in the right and left column is the prayer of Rabbi Yishmael Cohen Gadol, "whoever says it every day in the Synagogue or at home is saved from all evil happenings…", printed in the middle column are two chapters of Psalms (34, 72) to be read before reciting the prayer. At the bottom of the leaf: "Printed in Yerushalem; this holy prayer is cited in the book Amtachat Binyamin [by Rabbi Binyamin Beinish ben Yehuda Leib HaCohen, Wilhermsdorf 1716] and after seeing it, I said that is something good to distribute throughout the Jewish people and to reprint it on a board. In this manner each person will be able to purchase it and hang it on the walls of his home and read it. And G-d will be with him and he will succeed wherever he endeavors and he will receive the blessing mentioned above. These are the words of the publisher of this dear item, Moshe ben Rabbi Avraham Binyamin Rivlin". Rabbi Avraham Rotenberg's printing press operated in Jerusalem from 1866-1868 and from 1877-1878; this leaf was dated according to the writing in its lower margins, "In the new printing press of Rabbi Avraham Rotenberg".
33.5X44 cm. Fair-good condition. Tears, primarily to upper margins and on folding lines, professionally restored. Creases and stains. Placed in a frame 52.5X72.5 cm. Not examined out of the frame.
Rare. Bibliographically unknown, does not appear in "Sifrei Yerushalayim HaRishonim" by Shoshana HaLevi and differs from the Mizrah mentioned in the Bibliography Institute CD Listing 0313739 and from other Mizrah items printed in Jerusalem in those times.
Protection for the home, for all matters from the book "Raziel HaMalach". Jerusalem, [c. 1920].
Color lithographic printing on paper.
In the center is a circular diagram, with a large illustration of the Temple Mount – Dome of the Rock, above the words "by Moshe ben Yitzchak Mizrahi". Around is another circular diagram of 12 medals with illustrations of "Kivrei Avot" (Rachel's tomb, "Ma'arat HaMachpela", the graves of the kings of the house of David, Joseph's tomb, tomb of "Shmuel HaNavi", the tomb of "Rashbi", etc.). On the corners are illustrations of animals with a quote of the "mishnah" from Tractate "Avot": "Be bold as a tiger and light as an eagle and run like a deer and be strong as a lion". At the top and on the margins are combinations of verses and kabalistic names of angels, as well as the inscription "Ben Porat Yosef Ben Porat Alai Ayin…".
44.5X57.5 cm. in a frame 60.5X75.5 cm. Few stains, slight folding marks. Not examined out of frame.
1. "… A memorial gift from 'Kollel Chibat Yerushalayim' in the Holy Land". Litho printed by A. L. Monsom, Jerusalem, [1920s]. Lithographic printing on paper; gold printing. Illustrations of the Holy Cities, the graves of our ancestors and various ornamentations. In the center is a map of Eretz Israel. 10X65 cm. Minor tears and stains to margins.
2. "Jerusalem – Mizrah – Map of Palestine". [USA?], 1937. Lithographic printing on paper. In the center is a map of Eretz Israel and its surroundings. Around the map are drawings of the Holy Places, list of 22 settlements in Eretz Israel and place for writing "yahrtzeit" dates.
43X56 cm. Good condition.
The First Synagogue of Alexanderie in Egypt, by Prof. J. S. Kolbe. New York, [end of 19th century].
Lithographic printing on paper, hand-painted.
In the center of the leaf is a large illustration of "the inside of the Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt"; on the right is the "outside". At the top of the leaf are the ark, the two Tablets of Law and two lions holding a Torah crown. Around the leaf are five illustrations of vessels and themes of the Temple and another 13 illustrations that portray Biblical scenes (described in English and Yiddish-Deitsch). The picture of the Synagogue of Alexandria was drawn by Yehoshua Yosef Kolbe (1807-1920). Kolbe was born in Warsaw or in Brisk and dedicated his life to the research of the First and Second Temples. For his research, he traveled to European cities and visited various libraries. He presented the conclusions of his research, accompanied by detailed sketches, in his book "Binyan Ariel" (he received approbations from leading rabbis from the East and West on his book and published it in Yiddish as well). He spent the last years of his life in Jerusalem.
In 1887, Kolbe published a similar leaf, by the name "Bible Sceneries", with an illustration of the inside of the Temple in its center, totally identical to this illustration of the Synagogue in Alexandria. See attached material.
56.5X70.5 cm. Frame 70X83.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Tears, some lacking (primarily the bottom right corner). Tape repairs.
15è Vue d'optique nouvelle, représentant les Juifs dans leur Sinagogue, Célébrants une de leurs Solemnités appelée le Purim. Hand-painted woodcut. Jacques-Gabriel Huquier; Henry Émile Vivarez. Paris, [c. 1750].
The woodcut portrays the Jews' "Purim" celebrations in the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. Definite similarities can be found between this woodcut and the woodcut made by Bernard Picart in 1721, which depicts the celebration of the inauguration of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam.
26X40 cm. glued on a cardboard 30.5X44 cm. Its bottom part including the description of the woodcut has been folded and glued on the reverse side of the cardboard. Few stains. Minor damages to the woodcut edges and two small holes. Damages to reverse side of cardboard.
Embroidery, made by Flora Avraham. India, 1867.
Colored threads; net fabric.
Embroidery, made by Flora Avraham in her youth. The ornamentations: a squirrel and a deer, a crown and flowers, numerals and the letters of the Latin alphabet. Embroidered on the bottom is the inscription "Flora Avraham 1867".
Flora Avraham (Sassoon) was born in India in 1856; in 1876, she married Shlomo David Sassoon. For a number of years after her husband's death in 1894, Flora managed the family textile company in Bombay and in 1901 moved to England. Passed away in England in 1936.
39X50 cm. in a 45X57 cm. frame. Fair-good condition. Stains. Not examined out of the frame. For additional details about Flora Avraham and the Sassoon family, see the article by John G. Rolland, "The Baghdad Community", from "Indian Jewry – Bnei Israel, Kutchinim, Baghdadim" edited by Orpah Salpak (Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1995), pp. 33-34.
"Mizrah", embroidery. Origin unknown, [early 20th century].
Black and yellow threads; net fabric.
At the top is a "Magen David" with the letter "Mem", the beginning of the verse "From the rising of the sun until the place it sets, G-d's name is praised", which appears in the center of the Mizrah. Adorned with five flowers (six-pointed stars).
33X38.5 cm. frame : 44X50 cm. Stains. Not examined out of frame.
"Shiviti Hashem LeNegdi Tamid". Jerusalem, 1927.
Ink and paint on paper.
"Shiviti" in large format, written, drawn and painted by hand, made by "Sinor ben Reuven, in honor of the Chacham Yehonatan ben Chacham Yosef".
Various adornments in plant and geometric patterns, circles with Stars of David and the word "Zion", integrated into various texts: "Ben porat Yosef ben porat alei ayin…", the Ten Commandments (appear twice at the top of the "Shiviti"), a large "LaMenatzeach" menorah, Psalms 24 (quoted in full), etc. According to the design of the verse "And I, in your great kindness shall come to your House, and shall bow down to your Holy Temple with fear" and other verses, and according to the white color marks, it seems that the work on the "Shiviti" was not entirely completed.
59X75 cm. Fair-poor condition. Creases, stains and many tears. A rectangular strip is missing at the bottom.
Mizrah. [Europe – Germany?], [First half of 20th century].
Copper plate, etched and engraved.
At the top, the inscription "Mizrah" appears between drawings of an eagle and a deer, in the center is a large Star of David, decorated with geometric patterns and the verse "From the rising of the sun until the place where it sets, the name of G-d is praised" (Psalms 113, 3). On its bottom is the inscription Jerusalem between drawings of The "Tomb of Rachel and The Holy City of Zion and the tombs of the kings of the House of David".
20X27 cm. Good condition.
From this side is the spirit of life – Mizrah. Papercut. Eretz Israel, second half of the 20th century.
Various ornamentations: The Two Tablets of Law, lions, a menorah, birds and various animals.
34X41.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Several tears. Stains. Glued on cardboard.
"Know before whom you stand" / "Shiviti", for hanging in the Synagogue. Printed micrograph work made by Nechemya Meisner of Pápa, Hungary. Eretz Israel or Hungary, [ 1930s/40s].
Facsimile of micrograph made in Hungary in 1936. Geometric decorations, Stars of David, "menorah" and lions. Text: verses, prayer sections, kabalistic letter combinations and variations of G-d's name. On the bottom part: "I wrote this in memory of my uncle, a man who pursued charity and loving-kindness, Rabbi Ya'akov Eisen, Nechemya Meisner of Pápa, 5697, 28th of Tishrei". Some of the decorations were hand-painted.
49X63.5 cm. Good condition. Minor tears and holes to margins. Few stains.
Five Megillot. Printed micrographic work. Eretz Israel, 1930s.
Illustration of a large bird standing on a tree branch with outstretched wings. The text: Five Megillot, in Rashi script. Printed under the illustration: "Here are all the Five Megillot, written in pure and clean Rashi script which the reader can easily read, written by Levi Rabinowitz". The details of the original printing have been erased from the bottom margin and on top of them "Jerusalem 1936" is written in ink. In several other places, printed words were "reinforced" in brown ink.
33X42 cm. paper sheet 46.5X64.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Creases to margins.
Ketubah on the marriage of Levi ben Yosef Orvieto with the bride Simcha bat Mordechai. Orvieto. Siena, (Italy), December 2, 1693.
Ink on parchment.
Title in calligraphic lettering "He who finds a wife finds good". Frame with floral decorations. On the top and bottom of the frame are drawings of small frames (cartouches), sometimes used for impressing family emblems.
Witnesses signatures: "Eliezer ben R' Shabtai Vitirbo" and "Ya'akov ben Avraham Mon—lato—".
41X46 cm. frome 64X68 cm. Fair condition, stains and folds. Missing tear on upper left side, with damage to frame drawing and to text, professionally restored. Not examined out of frame.
See: Ketubbah: Jewish marriage contracts of the Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum and Klau Library, Shalom Sabar (New York, 1990), pp. 162-163.
Provenance: Sotheby's – important Judaica, New York, November 30, 2006. Item no. 201.