“Tolerance is what keeps humanity together, I believe.”
—Anne Willem Meijer, Member of the Dutch Resistance
The rhythm of Jewish life is determined by its calendar. Throughout the year, Jewish holidays offer opportunities to celebrate as a community, contemplate who are, and where we came from, and where we are going. The following are a selection of uplifting texts that relate to each Jewish holiday. To begin, click on the pictures or names below.
This decorative plate is an item purchased by many tourists in Israel. The plate depicts a menorah, and the lions of Judah.
This rare Torah was recovered in Isfahan, Persia (in what is now Iran) from a “Genizah,” a place for storing Jewish books or ritual objects which have become unusable. The torah is handwritten on deerskin leather, and is on display in Mapping Our Tears.
The purim graggers and Megillah scrolls featured in this case are from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Megillah contains the Book of Esther, which is read every year on the Purim festival to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people living throughout the ancient Persian Empire from a plot by Haman the Agagite to annihilate them. The gragger is a noise-maker, and is rung each time Haman’s name is read.
The Menorahs were discovered by a Christian nurse assigned to a American Field Service in post-World War II Europe. The nurse discovered one menorah in a destroyed synagogue in Austria, and later found it’s match in a rubbish heap on a Berlin street.
The Coppel Haggadah
This ark was created by the Jewish Welfare Guild during World War II. One of four arks built, it was transported throughout war torn Europe on the back of a Jeep, and used by rabbis working with Jewish American soldiers.
This Jewish National Fund Tree Fund Certificate was presented to the Talmud Torah Grade School in Newport, Kentucky in the 1920s. The certificate recognizes the students at the school for donating money to plant trees in Israel. By the end of the 20th century, Israel was the only country to have more trees at the end of the century than it started with in the beginning.