THE MU­SEUM OF THE JEWISH GHETTO

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This mu­seum sur­prises above all for its abil­ity to con­dense cen­turies of his­tory of an en­tire com­mu­nity into such a small space. The ex­hibits es­pe­cially fea­ture ri­tual ob­jects per­tain­ing to re­li­gious cer­e­monies rang­ing from the weekly Sab­bath to Passover. At the cen­ter of at­ten­tion are var­i­ous em­bel­lished To­rah scrolls (Se­fer To­rah) and their ac­ces­sories: the sacred parch­ment scrolls are in fact cov­ered with a man­tle (Meil) and topped with a crown (Ataràh), and kept in a spe­cial cup­board called the Cup­board of Ho­li­ness (Aron Ha Kodesh), whose doors are adorned with sashes of satin and silk known as wim­pels (Parokhet); the scrolls are read with the help of small pointer rods finely worked in sil­ver that end in a tiny hand (Yad), as the sacred text it­self should never be touched with the bare hand. There are also cu­ri­ous me­men­tos such as mar­riage con­tracts hand-writ­ten on vel­lum and il­lu­mi­nated with tem­pera, set­ting out the rules for the pro­tec­tion of the wo­man in case of an­nul­ment of the mar­riage al­lowed by the Jewish tra­di­tion. The mu­seum pro­vides an essen­tial ref­er­ence point for the visit of the syn­a­gogues and the Jewish ceme­tery in the Lido. www.museoe­braico.it

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