Challah cover research/inspiration from The Jewish Museum.
1. Still Life with Challah, c. 1930, Max Webber, 1881-1961, American b. Russia
2. Mizrah, Archie Granot: "The term 'mizrah' literally means east. In many Jewish homes, a mizrah plaque was placed on the wall facing Jerusalem. It reminded the Jew where to face during prayer. This papercut was created for this same purpose. The 'hineni he'ani mima'as' - a personal plea by the chazan on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur - is micrographically inscribed around the border of this paper cut. The red and white colored papers represent the impurity which our prayers replace with a state of holiness and grace"
3. Had Gadya Suite (Tale of a Goat), Cover, 1919, El Lissitzky, Russian, 1890-1941
4. Matzah Cover, 1978, Lillian Elliot, American (Berkley, California). “This matzah cover commemorates the Camp David peace accords between Egypt and Israel. In honoring the significance of this occasion on a Passover ritual object, Lillian Elliott reminds the viewer of the Jews' enslavement and exodus from Egypt. While recognizing this history of conflict, Elliott's work suggests a more hopeful future in the wake of the Camp David accords.”
5. Sukkah Decoration, Rodal's Hebrew Book Store, Montreal, Canada, 1950. “Four days after Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the autumn harvest holiday of Sukkot begins. Observant Jews build sukkot, or booths similar to those used by the Israelites in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. During the holiday, it is customary to eat in the sukkah and to symbolically invite seven biblical figures or ushpizin--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David--one on each day of the festival. The sukkah walls are often covered with decorations such as this 20th century printed example featuring illustrations and inscriptions related to each one of the biblical guests at center as well as depictions of Jewish holy sites and the signs of the zodiac within medallions above and along the sides.”
6. Hallah cover made from a textile fragment, Europe, late 18th to early 19th century, silk brocade; painted applique; cotton.
7. Matzah cover, paper: embroidered with metallic, silk and synthetic thread, 1994, Sue Trytell, Australian.
8. Hallah cover, synthetic fabric and cotton: machine stitched, 1970s, Afghanistan. “The textiles which served as hallah covers in Afghanistan were of the same type as those generally used to cover the trays on which meals were served. The large size of this hallah cover accommodated the large flat Afghani bread used as hallah. The colored floral print fabrics of the mid-late 1950s are of Russian manufacture and relate to some of the Bokharan printed scarves in our collection, as well as to the linings of costumes.”
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(I had to explain to my neighbor's adorable pooch (whose name is Shayna) that this traditional holiday greeting does not mean "for the good dog". (I brought a challah over for her human housemate). Also, I think I recall raisins are not good for doggos, even if she really is such a shayna punim, yes she is.
Anyway, a happy Jewish New Year to those of you observing. May it be a year of blessing, renewal and healing.
May you all have wonderful neighbors to share joy with, and an abundance of joy to share.
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