Silver Judaica was never only a name for a work of art. It was always a subject beyond the simple definition of words. Judaica is the story of a nation struggling its way throughout its history. It is a story of many joyful moments, prayers, hopes and dreams. A story of so much sorrow, suffering and tears…
Let’s all take a glance into the fascinating ancient history of silver Judaica.
Already in the Torah, we see the difference between Judaica and other types of art. The artisans Betzalel and Oholiav, were chosen by Hashem (G-d) to be the first Judaica artists in the world.
They were told to create and build the Ohel Moed (Tent of the Meeting) and its holy contents. It says that in order to fulfill this duty, they were given a unique wisdom in their souls. Their great spiritual character was an absolute must for this holy mission.
Speaking of Jewish art, there are many uncertainties regarding the existence of such a concept.
Although there are some who claim that since Jewish art contains secular art works, such as: paintings, sculpture and architecture, yet on the other hand ritual items such as: Menorahs, Mezuzahs and more, it is difficult to create a homogenous art tradition.
In addition to this, there are works of art made by non-Jewish artists, which contain Jewish symbols as well. This again brings up the question if Jewish art deserves its name.
While in Jewish culture creating an idol or a picture of certain things is forbidden, the Rambam and the Ramban (two great Torah scholars) say that works of art which do not contain images of angels, human beings and other items, are not forbidden.
Judaica ritual items are found in every traditional Jewish home. A quiet side street can tell a passerby so much, without any words being said.
The Mezuzah on the doorpost of one house simply says: This is a Jewish home. The sparkling candles in the shiny candelabra say: Today is the holy day of Shabbat. One can even see through the window a kindled Menorah saying it is Chanukah time, or a special Seder plate on the table indicating it is the first night of Passover.
But the most beautiful and wondrous thing of all, is the fact that this small quiet street can exist in any country, city or village in the world.
The people living inside these Jewish homes might be very different than each other. Some are religious and some are not. Some are rich and others are poor. But there is one thing that binds them. They all belong to the same tradition.
And in that respect, Judaica has become a symbol of the Jewish nation.
Silver was always a symbol for luxury and prestige. In ancient Egypt and in the Middle Ages in Europe, silver was more valuable than gold. This explains the most common use of silver in the past – coins for money. In many languages, the name of the metal and the name of the circulation medium are identical.
Another form of silver is sterling silver, which is a mixture of silver and other metals, mainly copper. Sterling silver has a softer texture than silver and therefore it is used for making jewelry, fancy dishes and even musical instruments.
Judaica and silver were always a favorite combination among Jewish artists.
Almost every Judaica artwork can be found in a silver version: silver Menorahs, silver Kiddush cups, silver Megillahs (scrolls) and more.
By observing silver Judaica it is obvious that each Jewish artist had his own unique design in his work of art.
But even more noticeable than that is the love that emanated from their hearts, and the strong will to beautify their work of art as much as possible. They envisioned as a holly task which they were privileged to complete.
The actual reality of blending silver and Judaica into one piece was their way of transforming a simple hand made craft into a magnificent and sublime work of art.
Silver Judaica includes not only ritual items but also Jewish symbols such as the Star of David and a Chamsa. Many Jews consider the Chamsa as a Jewish symbol with the power to protect from “Ayin Harah” (evil eye).
Despite this fact, most historians claim that the Chamsa originally comes from the Islam…
As for the Star of David, there is also a controversy regarding its Jewish roots, although in this case there is a larger consensus that it is an authentic Jewish symbol. Some say it was inscribed on King David’s mantlet and that is the reason for its name, even though there is no reliable source for that.
Others indicate that it is mentioned in the Kabbala as a symbol for “Ruchniyus” (spirituality) and “Gashmiyus” (physicality).
All over the world Jews talk about the Star of David with mixed emotions.
The Star of David symbolizes the invincible Jewish spark, yet also brings to mind bitter memories of times of darkness and fear.
This is the impossible combination of life and death.
During the holocaust, the Nazis used this Jewish symbol in order to humiliate the Jewish people.
But the amazing fact is that this hateful action caused the opposite effect. Those were the years when Jews devoted their lives to maintain their Jewish pride. They lit Menorahs with a mixture of oil and tears. They starved for weeks in order to have something to put on their Seder plate.
They were willing to risk their lives in order to save a Sefer Torah. Till today the most valuable and precious Judaica items are the ones that survived those dreadful times.
Those items pass from father to son along with the heroic tales of devotion and Jewish faith.
The Hadad Brothers is a Judaica and silver tradition, all combined into beautiful works of art.
The famous family business of Hadad Bros. was started by the grandfather. With his artisan soul and talent he was able to create beautiful, unique, silver Judaica items which were made to order for his clients.
Passing on the tradition of handmade pure silver Judaica to his sons, was followed by the establishment of Hadad Bros. in 1964.
Over the years more and more people became Hadad Bros. satisfied customers.
Today, Hadad Bros. is one of the biggest producers and marketers of silver Judaica in the world.
With the same artisan soul and talent which is put into their work of art, Hadad Bros. has become a second name for traditional silver Judaica.
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