• Moses and Aaron

  • Mordechai-MOSES AND AARON: The figures of Moses and Aaron appear on the left and right of the dedication, all crowned with elaborate Rococo-style ornaments of shells, clouds, and cherubs.  Each patriarch can be identified by his attributes: Moses holds the Tablets of the Law and his staff, and Aaron wears the Efod and censer associated with his office as Kohen Gadol (High Priest). A crown tops the central panel. The "Eye of God" symbol, enclosed within a sun disk, beholds everything in sight. Remnants of gilding can be seen on the eye and the encircling disk.

    JERUSALEM Framed on either side by crumbling ruins of ancient marble columns is Yerushalayim, ir ha-kodesh (Jerusalem, the Holy City). The buildings are nestled close together with smaller edifices near the ground level and taller ones near the top of the "hilly" terrain. The architecture of the buildings seems to reflect the Baroque style still used in the eighteenth century. Shepherds and townsfolk enter through a gable-roofed gate. The absence of depictions of the site of the Temple and Western Wall should be noted; instead prominence is given an edifice that might be a basilica. The twin bell towers resemble those at the top of the Piazza di Spagna (The Spanish Steps) in Rome, which were built in the mid-seventeenth century. The only hint of Jewishness in this scene is a Star of David that tops a clock tower in the far background on the upper right.

    DEDICATION Z.n. (Zo nidvat) ha-bahur Mosheh Segal: li-khevod nishmat aviv ha-manoah k.h.r.r. Shelomoh Segal zal ve-nishmat imo ha-tsenua[h] marat Esterl zal, poh Oyras. Shenat z.n. MoSHeH LeVI HaZaK li-f.k. [563] i.e. 1803. (This is the gift of the young man, Mosheh Segal, in honor of the soul of his late father, Shelomoh Segal, and the soul of his modest mother, Esterl, here, Auras, the year of the gift of Moshe Levi, 1803). The inscription was probably not written by Binyamin Ze'ev ben Elyakum Getsel Kats since the handwriting is not the same as that in the rest of the manuscript.

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