JAIC 1992, Volume 31, Number 1, Article 5 (pp. 31 to 39)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1992, Volume 31, Number 1, Article 5 (pp. 31 to 39)

“ACCESSORIES OF HOLINESS”: DEFINING JEWISH SACRED OBJECTS

VIRGINIA GREENE



NOTES

1.. Talmud, Megillah 26B; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, II; Shulchan Arukh, O.H. 154.3. Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) was a physician, philosopher, and rabbinic scholar. The Mishneh Torah is a law code, i.e., a practical guide rather than a theoretical discusssion of legal issues. The Shulchan Arukh is a medieval law code (first published 1565) still considered authoritative by traditional Jews.

2.. Ashkenazic Jews trace their ancestry to communities in central and eastern Europe. Sephardic Jews are those who came originally from the Iberian Peninusula. After they were expelled in 1492, many settled in Greece, Turkey, and Palestine as well as in other parts of the world. Oriental Jews are those who trace their ancestry to the Arab world and Iran, as well as those whose families never left Palestine.

3.. I am indebted to Paul Himmelstein for permission to transform his experiences with owners of Torah ark curtains into a general principle.

4.. These cups are usually called kiddush cups, after the blessing over wine that is said at the beginning of every Sabbath and holiday. The word kiddush comes from the same root as kedusha, “holiness.”



REFERENCES

Cowan, P.1986. A Torah is written. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House.

Klein, I.1979. A guide to Jewish religious practice. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary.

Ladd, E. 1991. Personal communication.

Milgram, A.1971. Jewish worship. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

Ray, E.1986. Sofer: The story of a Torah scroll. Los Angeles: Torah Aura Publications.

Siegel, R., M.Strassfeld, and S.Strassfeld, eds.1973. The Jewish catalogue. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

U. S. Congress. 1990. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Public Law 101–601. United States Code Congressional and Administrative News, 101st Congress–Second Session. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing.


AUTHOR INFORMATION

VIRGINIA GREENE is senior conservator at the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. Originally trained as an archaeologist (B.A. in anthropology, Barnard College, 1963; M.A. in anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 1968), she received her diploma in the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials (with distinction) from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, in 1971. She also has a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Gratz College and will receive her M.A. in Jewish studies in 1992. In addition to broad professional interests in objects conservation, museum storage, and exhibits, she is a member of the Board of Directors and Ritual Committee of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel and often leads services or reads Torah for the congregation. Address: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 33d and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104–6324.


Copyright 1992 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works