On this level, the display case shows typical artefacts of the cycle of the Jewish holidays as they are celebrated during the year. In the center of the display case, artefacts used for the celebration of Shabbath are shown. It is a day set apart by Jews for rest, study and divine worship, as it recalls the rest from the divine act of creation and is dedicated to religious and spiritual reflection, and the total abstinence from any kind of creative work. Inspired by biblical narration, synagogue liturgy and domestic ceremonies, specific iconographic patterns were developed for each holiday and special artistic objects were created for their celebration.
Rabbinical costume for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The white satin robe with velours front, and satin head cover and rabbinical pectoral ornament in the shape of a Magen David set with rhinestones, as well as the walking stick belonged to Rabbi Elias Barzilai, chief rabbi of the Athens community during the Nazi occupation and after the war, meanwhile he was in hiding with the Greek partisans in the mountains. The handwoven silk Tallit, prayer shawl, once covered the head and shoulders of Abraham Ishkenazi, who served as a Shamash, or caretaker, of the Athens Synagogue.
Shofar, ram’s horn, for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, decorated with an engraved geometric pattern and a cut-out crenellation, with a feather inserted against moisture, Ioannina, ca. 1900.
Velvet cushion, with gold thread embroidery, for the bridegrooms of Simhat Torah holiday, Ioannina 19th century.
Cast brass, Hanukkiyah lamp with eight lights, 19th or early 20th century, from Patras Synagogue. In the centre, it bears the characteristical inscription: “The Mitzavh (commandment) is a lamp, and the Torah is light”.
Silver and parcel gilt filigree Esther Scroll case, Ioannina, late 19th or early 20th century.
Megillah, Esther scroll, in parcel gilt silver case with engraved motif of the Tablets of the Covenant, Ioannina, late 19th or early 20th century.
Candle holders, such as this pair of silver plated candlesticks, became customary in the 19th century for fulfilling the religious duty of kindling the Shabbat lights. Before sitting down for the Shabbat meal, the man of the household traditionally recites the Kiddush over a cup of wine.
Besamim boxes, spice containers, for the Havdalah ceremony. The two pierced cylindrical pairs come from the Patras Synagogue, 20th century, and the tower-shaped filigree container probably from Brno, Moravia, 19th century.
Shabbat cloth, embroidery on linen with coloured threads in chain stich, depicting Holy Sites of the Land of Israel, made probably by Simhe Janiver, Jerusalem, second half of the 19th or 20th century.
Glass oil lamp, from Patras Synagogue, first half of the 20th century.
Special festive breads served at Shavuot in the Sephardic Communities of Salonica, Larissa and Komotini.
Novias, marzipan figures representing the chief characters of the story of Esther, as well as everyday objects, were made for the Purim celebration in Salonica and other Sephardic communities.
Oreozil Sidiropoulou – Levy dressed as Queen Esther, Volos, 1922.