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Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme

Retour A Selection of Works The synagogue

Ark and Torah scroll
Ark and Torah scroll

Caspar Zacharias Raiman
Silver, repoussé, engraved, parcel-gilt and glass beads
56 x 21 x 14,5 cm

Photo Gilles Berizzi. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris
Strauss Collection, Rothschild donation
On long-term loan from the Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris

This type of Ark was made for the Jews who had a private prayer room in their home or wanted to take a Torah with them on their travels. This highly ornate Ark is unique. The Torah scrolls, mantle and binder have been preserved. The inscription on the binder links it to Samson Wertheimer (b. 1658, Worms, d. 1724, Vienna), and bears he name of his grandson, Joseph ben Simon Wolf Wertheimer.
Related to the Oppenheimer family, Samson Wertheimer, a court Jew in Vienna, was entrusted with the administration of the property of three emperors between 1694 and 1709: Leopold I, Joseph I and Charles VI. A great financier and community leader, he intervened on behalf of the threatened Jewish communities in Worms, Frankfurt and Rothenburg, and those in war-torn Hungary, which earned him the title of Chief Rabbi. A philanthropist and scholar, he built synagogues and funded Talmudic schools and the printing of the Talmud in Frankfurt (1712-1722).

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