synagoga

Let me put it this way, /–/ when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn’t stopped believing in God. I’d just stopped believing God cared. There might be a god, Clary, and there might not, but I don’t think it matters. Either way, we’re on our own.
—  Jace Wayland, City of bones/The Mortal Instrumens (by Cassandra Clare)

The Great Synagogue on Flickr.

The Great Synagogue in Stockholm is an eclectic piece of architecture indeed. It was designed by Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander and inaugurated in 1870. The architect was actually inspired by assyrian temples, which I find fascinating.

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Ecclesia and Synagoga, Konrad Witz, 1430

In this version, Synagoga’s downcast eyes appear to be closed, but not covered, although there is a light line that may be some sort of remnant (stylistic or due to reworking of the piece) of the often-used blindfold. The broken spear is present, as are the tablets of the law, inscribed in what appears to be random markings.

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U stanice metra Palmovka najdete bývalou libeňskou synagogu, která sloužila zdejší židovské komunitě. Dnes stojí opuštěná a působí až nepatřičně, ale o sto let nazpět byla obehnána zahradou a byla úctyhodným symbolem zdejší židovské čtvrti.
Vždy mě zajímalo, jak vypadá zevnitř, a tak mi udělalo radost, když se otevřela načas veřejnosti. Můžete si do ní zajít na fotky zvěčňující Bohumila Hrabala a na dobrou kávu, avšak milovníky architektury a historie spíše zaujme vnitřek synagogy, jenž vás překvapí svou zachovalostí, kterou byste při pohledu z tramvaje nehádáli.

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Ecclesia and Synagoga at Notre Dame

For everyone who thinks all those statues on Gothic churches are just meaningless decoration, I present to you Ecclesia and Synagoga, i.e. the roots of European anti-Semitism.  These two figures stand on either side of the central portal of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

Ecclesia (left) stands proudly upright, representing the victorious Church. She carries the chalice of the Eucharist and a staff tipped with a cross.  Synagoga, blindfolded, leans on a cane as the Tablets of the Law slip from her grasp.  Her fallen crown rests beside her feet; across her back she carries a broken spear.

The two sculptures paint a picture of the Jews as a once-great people who have fallen into depravity and are no longer able to see the truth.  They have a place in medieval society, but it is an inferior one, serving as a foil to the greater glory of Christendom.  This ties into a lot of other medieval ideas about the “necessary evil” status of Jews who worked as moneylenders and tax collectors (jobs which were forbidden to Christians at the time).