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Hanukkah lamp from Samuel Roth's shtibl

This unusual Hanukkah lamp was set on a wooden base, in the middle of which there is a small wall made of two planks, reinforced with another plank and a metal plaque on the back. To the front of the wall, a cast-iron chandelier is fixed.

Jewish book of the Chevra Kadisha funeral brotherhood

A Jewish book belonging to a Chevra Kadisha funeral fraternity. It is a prayer book of the Ashkenazi rite (Nusach Ashkenaz). The Hebrew title of the book is Sidur Safa Berura ha-Shalom.

The Babylonian Talmud

The Talmud is the most important compilation of the oral Torah, that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is a commentary, an explanation, and a discussion. Before the Talmud, there was the Mishnah, to which Talmud is an extension. There are two Talmuds—the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud—whose 1831 edition is presented in our collection. The process of editing the former was completed in the 4th century AD in Palestine, in the academies of Caesarea, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The latter was completed a little later, at the beginning of the 6th century AD in Babylonia, in the academies of Sura, Nehardea, and Pumbedita. It is far more extensive than the Jerusalem Talmud.

Copy of the Maurycy Gottlieb's painting “Shylock and Jessica” by Marcin Gottlieb

The image is a copy of a picture by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856—1879), made by his younger brother Marcin Gottlieb (1867—1936) eight years after the artist’s death. The original was created in Munich in 1876, as a school work painted under the supervision of Professor Carl Piloty, who had suggested the subject to the artist.

Mezuzah

A mezuzah is a small oblong container made mostly of metal or wood, containing a parchment rolled into a scroll (klaf) on which two passages of the Torah, from the Book of Deuteronomy, are written by hand in Hebrew.

Jewish wedding ring

The ring was purchased for the museum collection in 1998 in one of the antique shops in Sącz. According to the owner of the shop, the ring was found among other objects hidden in one of the houses in Nowy Sącz during the war. The exhibit has a great historical value, as only a few similar objects could be found in Polish museum collections.

Fish-shaped besamin box

Besamin boxes [heb. bassamim, psumin-byksy] served as containers for spices and were used during the end of the Sabbath and were usually tower-shaped, whereas the besamin box from Sącz was in the shape of a fish, whose head, connected with a trunk with a hinge could be opened and tilted.

Bonnet of a Jewess

The bonnet has been in the collection since 1960, yet is not known how came to be included there. Four photographs from the exhibit are preserved in the Museum’s archives, purchased in the late 1960s or early 1970s. On the reverse side there is a note stating that the bonnet's owner was Ludwika Popardowska from Brzezna, a village near Nowy Sącz, and it was her mother’s memorabilia.

Hanukkah lamp

Chanukah — the eight-day Jewish festival of lights – in its historical aspect commemorates the victorious Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whereas in its ethical aspect refers to the salvation of Judaism, the only existing monotheistic religion based on the coherent system of moral values in the 2ndcentury BC.

Manuscript “Divrei David” of Dawid ben Jakub

The words of David. Commentary on the Jewish calendar. In the introduction the author writes that the knowledge concerning the Jewish calendar is scattered in the papers of Rishonim and Acharonim (medieval and later scholars), and from generation to generation slowly fades away due to the small number of those who could understand and practice in this area.

Torah shield

Rectangular, closed with a trifoliate arch, with the figures of Moses (on the left) and Aaron (on the right), and the Decalogue tables (in the middle), with the initial words of the commandments engraved in Hebrew. The figures of Moses and Aaron are flanked by spiral columns. On their plinths are Hebrew inscriptions marking the date: on the right plinth, תקס ("560"), on the left: לפק (“according to the abbreviated calculation”) [=1800]. In the three-leaf top, three openwork crowns with colourful glasses are attached.

Pelmet

The elongated rectangle of maroon velvet consisting of three rectangles sewn together: the largest embroidered one in the centre and two smaller ones attached on its sides, not embroidered. The decoration in a silver and gold-like hue fills in the surface of the central rectangle: a crown flanked by griffins-lions and vases with flowers. Above them, right at the upper edge, runs a one-line Hebrew inscription composed of four divided words: כתר תורה “Crown of the Torah”

Parochet — curtain that covers the Torah Ark

Beautiful curtain that covers the Torah Ark altar in the synagogue, produced in New York shortly before the outbreak of World War II and brought to Poland by Mr. Zvi, son Johoszua Lehr.

Jewish tin plate

This plate could have been used on the Sabbath or, more likely, during the Purim holiday celebrated in the month of Adar, which symbol is fish, used as an decoration motif in this exhibit.

Kiddush goblet

Kiddush translates from Hebrew as “sanctification.” The ceremony is celebrated at the beginning of the Sabbath and other holidays, by saying a special blessing over a cup of red sweet wine (or red grape juice).

Jewish wedding ring

The Jewish wedding ring was purchased in 1985 in “Desa”. Its owner is unknown. The ring is decorated with a floral motif and a Jewish inscription, Mazel Tov [Good luck]. It is topped with a model of a building — a symbolic depiction of the buildings in Jerusalem.

Etrog tin

An etrog tin in the shape of a pomegranate with three leaves, oxidised and open in the middle. The exhibit presumably belonged to rich Jews, as only they could afford such a decorated, silver container, used to carry the etrog to a synagogue on the holiday of Sukkot.

Besamin tower box

One of liturgical utensils of the Jewish faith is a vessel for scents called a spice tower (Hebrew: bassamim, psumin-byksy) used during Sabbath. This spice tower represents the most common turret type in the shape of a multi-storey synagogue.

Hanukkah lamp

It was probably created at the turn of the 20th century. Its base rests on three lying lions. The profiled stem is finished with a figure of an eagle with outspread wings. Eight semi-circular branches are attached to the stem with clips.

Torah scroll

The parchment scroll containing text of the Five Books of Moses, i.e. the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy was hand-written in Hebrew, rolled onto two sticks; the so-called ace(i) chaim [shafts of life] made of oak wood was furnished at the ends with pairs of wooden plates with a diameter of 17.5 cm, and handles for rolling the scrolls. The handles are profiled, with a head decorated with ivory buttons in the upper part and an ivory sleeve at the bottom.