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Judaica Art

The art of Judaica is a unique art of wonderful beauty. Items of Judaica are those ceremonial objects used on a regular basis in our everyday Jewish customs, rituals and rites. Therefore, Judaica art encompasses a great variety of objects. Each of these has its own history, significance, and varieties of designs.

A wonderful world of Jewish art

In general, there is a wide variety of techniques and styles in which every piece of Judaica art is made. Think about artistic candlesticks for example. Real artistic candlesticks look like no other candlesticks. They have their own unique look, their character and style. Or think, rather, of beautiful Kiddish Cups you’ve seen, and how special such cups are when they are pieces of art. How they invoke something artistic, spiritual and full of life. That is what makes Judaica art into art. When such pieces of Judaica are formed from the spirit of each artist, every time anew, so you could actually see it as a piece of Judaica art coming to life.

Judaica art fills the everyday Jewish life and customs with beauty. Be it candlesticks, Mezuzahs, Kiddish cups, a Seder plate, the Chanukah Menorah or a Talit, when these objects of our everyday customs are made as art, as individually crafted art pieces, not only to be used but to be objects of beauty and light, then they enrich our lives and our connection to our everyday customs.

A long history of Jewish art

Judaica art has a long history. Jews have been making Jewish art for centuries. Back in the words of the bible one finds evidence of Jewish art being made. Bezalel, perhaps the first known Jewish artist, is most famously known as the creator of the Tabernacle containing the Ark of the Covenant. Not many Jewish art relics have lasted to today from those ancient times. What mostly remains are some beautiful mosaics from ancient synagogues in Israel and in the ancient  Middle Eastern world. There are more later pieces of Judaica art to be found, lasting from the 16th century and on, including some really exciting pieces.

Towards the end of the 18th century, with the rise of emancipation throughout Europe, and the opening of art schools to Jews, there appears to be a growth of Jewish ceremonial art, alongside a growing demand among Jews for such Judaica art. The creation of the Bezalel art school in 1906 also contributed to the growth of Jewish ceremonial art, the combination of old and modern techniques and styles, and the creation of a new, modern Jewish style of art, which has developed, changed and advanced ever since.

The meaning of Judaica art

Each piece of Judaica has its own inner world of meaning and beauty. Each has its own unique image and style, created by the artist’s hands. However, Judaica art as a whole harbors a meaning and significance assumed by all such pieces of art: the continuation of Jewish life, Jewish heritage and Jewish culture. It is a tribute to and part of a long lineage of Jews who have carried out their rites and ceremonies as Jews, keeping to the tradition and history of our people and beautiful religion and culture. Judaica art today is a testament to the ongoing life of Jews all over the world, to the never dying culture and spirit of the Jewish people, and to the beauty and glory of Jewish art and culture.