Amsterdam - Miniature
Item number: 51800003
Credit Card Price: $130.00
(*) For new orders above 1500 usd - new customers who pay with credit card will be asked to send additional identification information.
|THE PORTUGUESE SYNAGOGUE – AMSTERDAM
Pewter Miniature in a Mahogany Showcase
Limited Edition: 250
The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam is fourth in the series of historic Synagogue miniatures designed by Eliezer Weishoff. It follows the miniatures of the New York Shearith Israel Synagogue and the Great Synagogues in Moscow and Tunis. If you have not yet acquired the previous miniatures, now is the time to do so, while they are still available.
At the beginning of the 17th century, Marranos, who lived secretly as Jews while acting like Christians, arrived in Amsterdam from Spain and Portugal, seeking refuge from the Inquisition. The relatively tolerant atmosphere that reigned in Amsterdam turned this city into one of the world's flourishing Jewish centers of the time.
The Portuguese Synagogue, known as the Esnoga (Ladino for "Synagogue"), an elegant brick structure, was designed by architect Elias Bouwman. In 1675, when the Sephardic community in Amsterdam numbered 3,000, the Esnoga was inaugurated. At the time, this Synagogue was the largest in the world and considered the most splendid of Europe. Its glory reflected the power of the Sephardic merchants of the city.
Above the entrance is the Hebrew inscription "I will come into Thy house in the abundance of Thy loving kindness". The building rests on wooden poles and the foundation vaults can be viewed by boat from the water underneath the Synagogue.The ladies' gallery is supported by twelve stone columns, representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel.1,000 candles in two enormous brass chandeliers light the Synagogue. Symbolizing G-d's blessing to Jacob, that his seed would be numerous "like the (grains of) sand" (Genesis 12:13), the Synagogue floor is covered with fine sand. In old Dutch tradition, the sand was used to absorb dust and dirt from shoes, as well as noise.
Before World War II, the Jewish population of the Netherlands reached 130,000. More than half lived in Amsterdam. With the Nazi occupation of 1940, Dutch Jewry was destroyed. Miraculously, the Synagogue survived and remained intact. Restored in the 1850s and 1950s, the Synagogue's original form has been well preserved.
Design: Eliezer Weishoff.