Torah Shield

Unknown Artist/Maker1805; 1828/29 (date of inscription)

The Jewish Museum, New York

The Jewish Museum, New York
New York, United States

In its present state, this shield consists of the original plaque with its curved pedimental headpiece, and a later section appended to the base.

This shield was the second known donation by Yosef ben Yo'el Kahana, "gabbai (beadle)" of the Eternal Light Society, in 1805. The first was a Torah pointer bearing a similar inscription specifying that the donor came from Danzig. The phrasings of both inscriptions together with the secondary 1828/29 dedication by Itzig Goldstein, prominent member of the Danzig Mattenbuden community, indicate that both the shield and the pointer were originally made for a synagogue in the area near the city and later came to Danzig. The wars of 1807 and 1812 caused much destruction in surrounding communities and led many Jews to seek a haven in Danzig. From the evidence of the inscription and the fact that the pointer bears Danzig hallmarks, we may suppose that the Torah shield was also made there.

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  • Title: Torah Shield
  • Creator: Unknown Artist/Maker
  • Date Created: 1805; 1828/29 (date of inscription)
  • Location: Gdansk, Poland, Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 11 × 8 1/16 in. (27.9 × 20.5 cm)
  • Type: Ceremonial Art
  • Rights: https://thejewishmuseum.org/about-this-site#terms-conditions
  • External Link: View this object at thejewishmuseum.org
  • Medium: Silver: repoussé and engraved