Isaac Jakob Gans donated this Torah shield to the synagogue in Celle.
The shield is typical of Ashkenazi Torah ornaments, adorning the Torah scroll when it is not in use.
Gans was a court factor in Hannover and Celle and is considered an important philanthropist of Celle’s Jewish Community. According to Jewish tradition, he lived by the command ment to support his community. Gans took advantage of his position in order to do all he could to improve the living conditions of his congregation members.
This richly decorated Torah Breastplate is roughly the size of an A3 piece of paper. It is made of pure silver and has an irregular border decorated with rocaille, the typical shell ornamentation of the Rococo. This breastplate once adorned a Torah scroll in the synagogue in Celle, near Hanover.
Some elements of the plate have been picked out in gilding. The two columns with vines growing up them for example, referring to the Temple in Jerusalem. Between these are two lions standing on their back legs, holding the tablets bearing the ten commandments. The small raised gilded area underneath represents Mount Sinai, on which Moses received the Tablets of Stone.
On the plinths decorated with jewels beneath the columns, is the following dedication in Hebrew:
„Se nadaw ha-kazin parnass u-manhig / kewod ha-raw rabbi izik ben ha-rabbi / jaakow gans sichrono li-wracha / be-wet ha-knesset kehillat ha-kodesch zel / 525 lifrat katan.“
“This was commissioned by the utmost honorable leader, the most reverend Rabbi Itzik, son of Rabbi Jaacob Gans in blessed memory in the synagogue of the holy community of Celle in 1765”
Isaak Jacob Gans, who commissioned this Torah Breastplate, was a tobacco merchant and court factor for the courts of Hanover and Celle.
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Core Exhibition: 13 Objects – 13 Stories (13)
13 Objects – 13 Stories
A Torah shield, a sculpture, a cushion: 13 unusual objects tell 13 stories of Jewish life. One of the tours of the JMB app leads right through the exhibition to eye-catchers of all kinds, some small, some big. What would a museum be without its many objects, each rich in meaning? You can get a sneak peek of the objects here on our website.
L’amitié au coeur (Friendship of the Heart)
by Étienne-Maurice Falconet (1716–1791), Paris, 1765, marble
Finds from the Memmelsdorf Genizah
Memmelsdorf (find site), ca. 1725–1830, paper, ink, fabric, leather, porcelain
donated by Isaak Jakob Gans (1723–1798), Hamburg, 1760–1765, silver
Shevirat ha-Kelim (Breaking of the Vessels)
Anselm Kiefer, 1990–2019, lead, iron, glass, copper wire, charcoal, Aquatec
Manheimer Family Portrait
by Julius Moser (1805–1879), Berlin, 1850, oil on canvas
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Käte Baer-Freyer (1885–1988), Berlin, ca. 1924, plywood, metals
“ISRAELI, JEW, and now SEVERELY DISABLED ...,” Daniel Josefsohn (1961–2016), Berlin, 2014/15, textile
Silver Formerly Owned by Jews
Provenance: up to 1939 unknown Jewish owners, 1939 Hamburg Tax Authority
Bruno Heidenheim, Album to bid farewell to Margot (1913–2010) and Ernst (1898–1971) Rosenthal, Chemnitz, 1936
Manufacturer: S. & D. Loewenthal, Frankfurt am Main, 1895/96, silver
No Longer in the Country
Unclaimed membership cards for the Jewish community Frankfurt am Main, 1949
by Otto Freundlich (1878–1943), 1938, tempera on cardboard
of the Lehmann family, Berlin, 1941–1945
Early Modern Period
Digital presentation of our archive collections on different topics, video projects, and more
At a Glance…
Jewish Life in Germany: Past and Present
More about our core exhibition
since Aug 2020
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