The Judaism Department
The Department houses 1 220 objects
The items from the various museum collections and the objects from the State Museum Fund and synagogues, which were closed by the Soviet government, have enriched the collection in 1930-s.
Most of the ritual implements represent the religious culture of the Ashkenezi (the Jews who lived in the Rhineland valley before their migration eastward to Eastern Europe after the Crusades). This assemblage expresses the religious rituals of Ashkenazi communities of the Central and Eastern Europe, including the Russian Empire.
The collection covers the material of Europe – a vast geographical area , exception to this few objects from the Central Asia, representing the religious culture of the Bukharan Jews. The collection spans the 18th cent. to the early 20th cent.
The Departments includes:
· Collection of the Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah) – handwritten copy of Torah (or Pentateuch) on parchment. The Sefer has two rollers, each of which has two handles used for scrolling the text. Between the handles and the rollers are round plates or disks which are carved with images of holy places. There are more than 300 items in the collection. The Sefer Torah is the most sacred object in the Judaism. Addition to these there are commemorative items, including Sefer Torah, presented to Nicolas II by the Jews community.
· Collection of the Sefer Torah vestments and holiday ritual implements (i.e. Passover Seder plates, holiday menorahs, particularly for Hanukkah).
· Collection of the wooden mezuzah cases. A mezuzah – is a piece of parchment with text from Deuteronomy. A mezuzah in such case is fixed to the doorframe according to the commandment “And thou shalt write upon door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates” (Deutronomy 6: 9). Such kind of cases was widespread over Galicia.
· Collection of tefellin.
· Collection of the Jews postcards.
· Collection of the graphics, created by the Jewish artists, i.e. by Solomon Yudovin works, which illustrates the Jews religious rituals.
· Collection of anti-Judaism caricatures in the magazine “Bezbozhik” (“the Godless”) etc.