These silver objects are not just beautiful to look at, they also give an insight into Jewish customs.
For example, the larger of the two plates, in the back row on the left, is a Seder plate. “Seder”, which means “order”, is a ritual meal held on the first, and possibly also the second night of Passover. It commemorates the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Various foods are arranged on the plate, symbolizing the experiences of the departure.
The next plate along depicts a Jewish wedding. You can easily see the Chuppah, the canopy under which the couple stand and exchange rings.
On the stand to the right are two Besamim spice towers.
Filled with sweet-smelling spices, they give off a scent designed to return the faithful to the everyday world at the end of Shabbat.
The three candelabra at the front are used throughout the days of Hanukkah, the winter festival of lights, during which an extra candle is lit on the menorah every day.
The Hanukkah menorah on the left was once owned by the Oberndörfer family here in Creglingen. All these objects are from the collection amassed by Arthur Obermayer’s parents. Most of that collection is now on display at the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the Americas, the magnificent Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia. But these seven exhibits have been presented to our museum on long-term loan.
Foto: © Martin Heuwinkel