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's Archive for November, 2011

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 [...]

Making a Mother’s Day

A devoted but busy mother (my own mother told me this story, trying to make a point) insisted on taking a nap every afternoon. When her children would beat on the door and whine for her to come out, she would answer in Yiddish: קי� דער איך מאך דיר א מאמע– children, I am making you a mother!

Weddings and Wine: Kiddushin/קידושין

In this beautifully embroidered cloth, a central panel contains the Kiddush blessing over wine recited at meals during the festivals Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, with special Sabbath blessing inserts in contrasting color and letter size. Beneath is a quote from Ethics of the Fathers: “…three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at God’s table…” Such pieces have been identified as part of a bride’s trousseau or as wedding gifts, so the bride may have embroidered the cloth herself, or perhaps it was made for the new couple.