• Posts: 0
's Archive for September, 2012

Spanish Work: Translating the Magnes Collection

As if on an “autopilot” of sorts, I have been continuously adapting (and at times, translating) collection information created over the decades at The Magnes from a German-dominated view of Jewish life to a more, how can I say, ecumenical one. (That is to say, one that reflects a more current state of Jewish studies [...]

One Internship, Ten Spice Containers

By Ekaterina Kalashnikova Graduate Student in Cultural Anthropology, Oulu University, Finland As a student of Cultural Anthropology at Oulu University in Finland, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to carry out an Internship at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life this Fall. It was very exciting for me to experience first-hand [...]

“This Night, We All Recline.” The Magnes Collection Passover Survival Guide

The symbology of Passover, the Festival of freedom, liberation, emancipation, or self-determination – depending on how one interprets the Hebrew definition of the celebration, חג החרות, chag ha-cherut – is difficult to escape. Ritual objects and material culture do not shy away from these interpretations, and instead enhance them by pointing to the practical implications [...]

To Cherish the Fruit of a Beautiful Tree: Etrog Containers in the Magnes Collection

The etrog (Heb. אתרוג, citrus fruit) is one of the “Four Species” used during the rituals relating to the Festival of Sukkot (or Tabernacles). Following rabbinic interpretations (based on the Mishnah and the Talmud, Sukkah), the “Four Species” (a date palm frond, myrtle and willow branches, and an etrog) are typically acquired during the days between Yom Kippur [...]

The Wimpel (Torah Binder) Collection

A “Torah binder” is a Jewish ceremonial textile used to keep a Torah scroll closed tightly when it is not being used for synagogue reading. In some Jewish communities in Germany and Eastern Europe, Torah binders were made from the linen or cotton cloth used to cover new-born males during the Circumcision ceremony (brit milah). The [...]

Summer Fun in the Archives and Library

We are working hard this summer to ensure that the Magnes’ amazing archives, manuscript and rare book holdings are properly inventoried, processed, and described for our researchers and users .  We are blessed with a wonderful summer intern, Stella Liberman, who is diligently inventorying our rare book collection.  With her valuable work, the Magnes will [...]

The Passion of Things

I really try hard not to start bawling at work, I really do. But sometimes, you can’t help but get choked up at the beauty of the objects in our care, and the stories which accompany them. That’s what happened to me today. We’d been filming a documentary about the Magnes, its collections, and some [...]