The Dead Hold Up the Synagogue (Ansche Chesed)


Old fashioned and handsome, these large memorial boards that run along the back and back side walls of the main sanctuary at Ansche Chesed do very little to call attention to themselves. But they are an integral part to a certain kind of synagogue decorative scheme. Already from another time, the names of the dead are wreathed in laurels, embossed in metal, set between pilasters, and horizontally organized. Do they still lend a little comfort? Even in a liberal synagogue, they hold up the place. Transliterated into English, the Hebrew calendar dates were made to be marked.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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