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The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life The Bancroft Library University of California, Berkeley Warren Hellman

Gallery Charles Michael Gallery September 10-December 13, 2013

Global India: Kerala, Israel, Berkeley Case Study No. 4

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life The Bancroft Library University of California, Berkeley Warren Hellman Gallery and Charles Michael Gallery September 10 - December 13, 2013 Galleries open TUE-FRI 11am-4pm Exhibition team: Curator: Francesco Spagnolo, PhD Visiting Scholar: Emerita Professor Barbara C. Johnson (Ithaca College) Registrar: Julie Franklin Video editing: Gary Handman Design: Gordon Chun Design Acknowledgements: Dr. Shalva Weil (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Prof. Yuval Harari (Ben Gurion University), Marian Sofaer (Palo Alto), Jay Waronker (Atlanta), Sippora (Venus) Lane (Israel), Hoor Japhet (Israel), Samuel E. Koder (Israel), and Orna Eliyahu-Oron (Seattle).

Curators Note
Global India: Kerala, Israel, Berkeley unveils the extensive holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life that document the history of the Jewish community in Kerala, South India, one of the oldest in the world. The exhibition includes more than one hundred individual items, many of which have not been exhibited or catalogued until now. Thanks to a dynamic collecting campaign initiated in 1967 by the late Seymour Fromer (1922-2009) in conjunction with Rabbi Bernard Kimmel (1922-1991) and scores of volunteers, The Magnes has become one of the worlds most extensive repositories of materials about the Jews of Southern India, taking on an important role in the preservation of their culture alongside the historic Jewish sites in the State of Kerala, as well as national and private collections in Israel, where most of the Kerala Jews settled after the founding of the State in 1948. These efforts are by no means the only connection between Kerala and Berkeley. David Mandelbaum (1911-1987), Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley (1946-1978), visited Kerala in 1937 and published a seminal scholarly article about its Jewish community two years later. Walter Fischel (1902-1973), Professor of Semitic Languages and Literature at UC Berkeley (1945-1970) and an authority on the history and culture of the Jewish communities in India, was the only North American scholar invited by the State of Kerala to take part in the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Paradesi synagogue in 1968. The complete collection housed at The Magnes includes hundreds of ritual objects, textiles, photographs, archival records, Hebrew books, liturgical texts, illustrated ketubbot (Jewish marriage contracts) and amulets in Hebrew, Aramaic, Malayalam, Judeo-Spanish, and English. These materials constitute an invaluable source of information on the Kerala Jewish community and its deep connections with Indias society and cultures while also reflecting the global Jewish Diaspora across India, the Middle East, and Europe. Among the most notable items on display are the Torah Ark from the Tekkumbhagam synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi, an extremely rare amulet on parchment designed to protect newborn children as well as women in childbirth, and the diaries of A.B. Salem, who provide a vivid account of Jewish life in Kochi throughout the 20th century. This project is the culmination of years of curatorial work devoted to assessing and documenting the holdings of The Magnes in collaboration with experts in Israel and the US. It greatly benefitted from the expertise of Dr. Barbara Johnson (Emerita Professor, Ithaca College), who visited The Magnes many times, and assisted us in bringing light to many a mysterious object in the collection. It is my hope that this work will place the holdings of The Magnes on the global map that historically connects Kerala, Israel and Berkeley, and inaugurate a new season of research engagement with the scholarly community at UC Berkeley and beyond, representing an important intersection of Jewish and Asian Studies. Francesco Spagnolo


by Barbara C. Johnson (Ithaca College)

Jews have lived for at least a millennium as a secure and respected minority on the southwest Malabar Coast of India, now part of the modern State of Kerala. While faithfully practicing halakhic Judaism and maintaining contact with other communities in the global Jewish diaspora, they have also played an integral and proud role in Keralas cosmopolitan culture, contributing significantly to the economy, speaking and writing the local Malayalam language (as well as being literate in Hebrew), and peacefully sharing in the everyday lives of their Hindu, Muslim and Christian neighbors. Only a few Jewish families remain in Kerala now, but their ancient community has not vanished. Rather it was voluntarily dismantled about eighty years ago and reconstructed in various new forms in Israel following the mass aliyah (immigration) of most Kerala Jews during the 1950s. This long internal deconstruction/ reconstruction process (both geographical and social) can be taken as a symbolic inspiration for the limited deconstruction and reconstruction process involved in a museum exhibition of artifacts and documents that were transported from India by outsiders and collected for documentation, preservation, scholarly research and public display in Berkeley, California. With this exhibition, The Magnes Collection introduces its wealth of Kerala Jewish material to the American public and, online, to an international audience. Today the approximately five thousand Kerala Jews in Israel are called Kochinim, a Hebraized term derived from the earlier label Cochin Jews applied to them by outsiders, though not all of the Kerala Jews lived in Kochi (Cochin)not in the former kingdom of Kochi, nor in the city of Kochi, which is one of Keralas largest. In fact there were eight separate but interrelated Kerala Jewish communities in five geographical locations. Three were located on one long street known as Jewtown in the Mattancherry section of the island city of Kochi, and two were across the harbor in Ernakulam. Inland from Ernakulam, situated on peaceful backwater lagoons amid green rice paddies and coconut palm trees, were three more Jewish communities in the smaller towns of Mala, Chendamangalam and Parur (now North Paravur). Each Jewish community governed its internal affairs through its yogam, a legal body with economic, religious and social responsibilities, run by elected trustees and recognized by the secular government. Religious authority rested in prayer leaders and teachers, who were among those men well educated in the Hebrew scriptures, commentaries and liturgy. Disputes were resolved by the seven eldest men, meeting to hear complaints and claims in a weekly assembly. Included in the communally owned property of each community was a synagogue, which was central to its identity and its religious and social life. The Jews of Kerala spoke Malayalam, the language of the land, with each other and with their neighbors. Jewish men and women alike were literate in Hebrew and Malayalam and were actively engaged in the

religious life of the synagogue as well as the home. Girls and boys studied Hebrew together from a young age, beginning with melodies for Torah cantillation. While men led the synagogue prayers, women sat in their own section, located directly behind the upper tevah (a second pulpit unique to Kerala synagogue architecture), from which the Torah and haftarah were read on the Sabbath and holidays. There the women could see, hear and be heard through large latticed windows, as they read and sang aloud from their own Hebrew prayer books. Women were also the custodians of a large repertoire of Malayalam Jewish folk songs, which they preserved in hand-copied notebooks, performing them on public occasions as well as at home. Jewish men perpetuated a different style of written Malayalamliteral translations from Hebrew sacred texts, called tamsir and used mainly for the study of Hebrew vocabulary and meanings. The fertile Malabar Coast has long been a crossroads of international trade. Sandalwood, pepper and other trade goods are mentioned in Biblical and Talmudic references to India. It is likely that Jewish merchants participated in the sea trade linking the Mediterranean and Middle East with India during the Roman Empire and early centuries C.E. and that some settled in Malabar. Hundreds of documents in the Cairo Geniza demonstrate the active participation of Jewish traders in medieval Indian Ocean commerce. Benefitting from this mercantile activity, the predominantly Hindu rulers of Malabar encouraged Jews, Christians and Muslims to settle in their kingdoms, granting them economic privileges and supporting the construction of churches, synagogues and mosques along with Hindu temples. The earliest documentary evidence of an established Jewish community in Kerala is a royal grant written in 1000 C.E. Inscribed in early Malayalam script on copper tablets, it gave economic, political and ceremonial privileges to a Jewish leader and his descendants in or near the city now called Kodungallur, known as Shingly in some Jewish records, where a Jewish community with a synagogue existed until the 16th century. Kerala and its Jews were profoundly impacted by colonial rule, first Portuguese (1498-1662), then Dutch (1663-1795), and then British (1795-1947). When Portugal established colonial outposts in Malabar and imported the Inquisition, the Hindu Raja of Kochi managed to retain control over his own small territory and protected its Jewish residents, including earlier migrants from within Kerala and a recent influx of Sephardic refugees and other Jewish newcomers from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In 1568 these new immigrants built a separate synagogue next to the Rajas palace exclusively for their own use. It was later called the Paradesi (foreigner) synagogue, and they were called Paradesis or sometimes White Jews, though their complexions were not uniformly fair. These new Jewish residents settled down to stay. They adopted the Malayalam language and customs of the much older Kerala Jewish culture, though they continued to marry only among themselves and other new immigrants. Under Dutch rule, wealthy Paradesi merchants held favored positions in international trade and local politics, the most notable being Ezekiel

Rahaby who served as Principle Merchant for the Dutch East India Company. In the 19th century, British colonial policies focused on the development of international ports in Bombay (Mumbai), Calcutta (Kolkata) and Rangoon, to the detriment of the Kerala economy. A significant number of Kerala Jews migrated north and east to these new urban centers and strengthened their contacts with other Indian Jews, finding work as teachers and prayer leaders for the Bene Israel community or working in textile mills and other businesses run by recent Jewish immigrants from Iraq. Many migrant families kept their community ties in Kerala, marrying from there and eventually settling in Kerala communities once they moved to Israel. Throughout the centuries, Kerala Jews maintained widespread connections with the global Jewish diaspora through continued mercantile activity, as well as correspondence with and visits from Jews in distant places. They composed their own Hebrew piyyutim (devotional songs) and also sang songs from Spain, Baghdad, and communities of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to importing Hebrew books, they made manuscript copies for wider circulation, developed their own composite liturgy and arranged for its publication, wrote original Hebrew documents and books, and translated Hebrew sources into Malayalam. The 20thcentury English-language diaries and papers of A.B. Salem, now at The Magnes, are a rich source of information about Kerala politics, daily Jewish life, and the complex process of aliyah, from an insider perspective. Beginning in the late 17th century, abundant material about the Kerala Jews (in European languages and Hebrew) was published by outsiders: in colonial records and ethnographic surveys, in accounts by journalists, Christian missionaries and Jewish visitors, and in scholarly articles and books. These writers depended primarily on information from Paradesi Jews in the commercial center of Kochi, without much investigation of the other seven Jewish communities. Descending from more recent immigrants to India, the Paradesis were accessible to foreign visitors and colonial officials because of their location and the economic prominence of their leaders. Increasingly, the outsider reports referred to the Paradesis as Whites and all the rest of the Kerala Jews as Blacks (a term they themselves rejected) or, less offensively, as Malabaris, alluding to their much longer residence on the Malabar Coast. This terminology assumed a binary social division supposedly (though not always accurately) based on skin color and contributed to the development of competing versions of Kerala Jewish origins and history. Paradesis wrote their own chronicles in Hebrew, frequently insulting to the Malabaris. In 1901, Eliya Madai, a leader of the TekkumbhagamKochi community, travelled to Jerusalem and arranged the publication of a book in Hebrew countering this Paradesi version of history. Rabbinic authorities from Jerusalem visited Kerala to try to settle these and other disputes. These widely reported internal conflicts became the focus of much of the 20th-century academic and popular writing about the Kerala Jews, keeping alive old quarrels and causing discomfort to

Paradesis and Malabaris alike. Scholarly imposition of racial and caste analyses perpetuated an exoticized view of their Indian history and culture, without reference to similar status conflicts within other communities of the Jewish diaspora. Thus an information imbalance developed, with comparatively little accurate knowledge and much misinformation about the seven non-Paradesi communities, and with an over-emphasis on differences and past conflicts rather than the shared culture of the Kerala Jews. Current efforts to correct this over-emphasis on differences and past conflicts rather than the shared culture of the eight Kerala Jewish communities are being carried out by scholars in India, Israel and the U.S. with a postcolonial approach to past scholarship about South Asia. The imbalance is also being actively redressed by Kochini engagement in the work of museums and archives in Israel: the Cochin Cultural Heritage Center in Moshav Nevatim, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Ben-Zvi Research Institute and the Jewish Music Research Center at Hebrew University. In India the Paradesi Synagogue, in its central location next to the historical palace of former Rajas, remains a top tourist attraction for many thousands of visitors each year. However, the Kerala government has supported extensive and skilled renovations of the less centrally located Chendamangalam and Parur synagogues; and the Chendamangalam Synagogue features an exhibition displaying photographs of its members in India and Israel, along with information about Kerala synagogue architecture. The Magnes Collectionunique outside India and Israel in its concentration of resources about the Kerala Jewsholds a preponderance of items from the Paradesi community because so many of its holdings were acquired since the late 1960s. By that time, almost all the other Jews had left Kerala for Israel, taking along some precious belongings and probably disposing of many before departure. Though only a few Paradesis had yet gone to Israel (most would do so later, in the 1970s and 1980s), some were already making aliyah plans and were willing to part with valuable artifacts and papers. Arguably, however, the most significant object in this exhibition is the magnificent Torah Ark from the Tekkumbhagam Synagogue in Kochi. When this building was demolished after the departure of most of its congregants, its dismantled Ark was stored in the Kadavumbhagam synagogue across the harbor in Ernakulam, and arrangements were made in 1967 for its safe transport to Berkeley. Tekkumbhagam-Kochi has an exceptional significance as the only one of eight Kerala synagogues that is no longer standing. Its architecture has not yet been documented or even described by scholars. Its Torah Ark remains physically deconstructed today, but like the Israeli Kochinim, it has found a new home where its brilliant colors can shine again. May the spotlight of this exhibition reveal more about Tekkumbhagam-Kochi synagogue and community, along with all the other Kerala Jews, stimulating the memories and pride of reconstructed Kochi communities and individuals in Israel and inspiring scholars to further research.

Exhibition Catalog
by Francesco Spagnolo

Charles Michael Gallery

1. Torah Ark of the Tekkumbhagam synagogue (Mattancherry) Kochi, Kerala, India, 17th-18th centuries Wood (teak), paint, shellac and gold leaf; cartouche: tin and brass veneer Gift of Jewish Community of Ernakulam, India, Bernard Kimmel collection, 67.0.3 The Torah Ark (Heb. hekhal ) of the Tekkumbhagam synagogue in Mattancherry (Kochi), designed to contain several biblical scrolls and cases, is a thirteenfoot-high and eight foot-wide wooden structure, made of multiple individual elements. Its elaborate carved and polychrome surfaces (predominantly red, green, and gold) cover four columns with shell capitals flanking two tiers of double doors, and a triangular pediment with shell finials and a draped central cartouche, inscribed in Hebrew characters, keter torah (Crown of the Torah). The Tekkumbhagam (southside) synagogue in Kochi (not to be confused with the one with an identical name in nearby Ernakulam) was last renovated in 1647. It was the only one of the eight Kerala synagogues to be demolished after most of its

congregation emigrated to Israel, sometime after 1954. Its Torah Ark (hekhal ) was subsequently disassembled and stored at the Kadavumbagam synagogue of Ernakulam, until it was shipped to Berkeley in 1967. The Ark, similar in style to those installed in several other synagogues in Kerala (two of which are now in Israel), was correctly identified as the missing one from Mattancherry by Israeli scholar Orna Eliyahu-Oron. She showed how, like the Kerala synagogues themselves, the Arks were made of teak wood, donated by local maharajas and carved by local (usually Hindu) artisans following detailed instructions provided by Jewish congregants. Now, you come to the Ark. It is nothing more than an Almirah, beautifully carved and ornamented in gold and red and it encases the Books of Law. On opening the Almirah, you will find the Rolls of Parchments enclosed in caskets, either covered with silver or silver and gold and velvet, with either golden or silver crowns on the top of them. The Jews do not object to these sacred books being opened to the view of the visitor. The stranger thus gets an opportunity to see the Script in which the Lord of the Universe wrote down or got the Law written for the benefit of mankind. These Rolls of Parchment, made out of sheep-skin, are still prepared under old traditional rules, and the pen and ink with which it is written are also still of the ordained kind. (Description of the Torah Ark of the nearby Paradesi synagogue in A. B. Salem, Eternal Light, or Jew town synagogue, Ernakulam, S. D. Printing Works, 1929: 22-23). 2. Pediment of the entrance door to the Tekkumbhagam synagogue (Mattancherry), inscribed after Ps. 5:8 (But, as for me, in the abundance of your lovingkindness I will come into your house) Hebrew Kochi, Kerala, India, [17th-18th century] Wood (teak), paint and silver leaf Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 67.0.13 The exact identification of the original location of this item was made possible by a photograph taken by David G. Mandelbaum in Kochi on September 14, 1937, bearing the caption: Tekumbagam Southern Synagogue. Wooden carved sign above synagogue door. (Photographs from the David Goodman Mandelbaum papers, The Bancroft Library, BANC PIC 1989.072 folder 11, CJ32, and David Goodman Mandelbaum collection of visual materials on Jewish life in Kerala, India, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 76.311.128, CJ32). 3. Torah Scroll fragment (Leviticus 19:20ff) Kochi, Kerala, India, n.d. Hebrew Goat Skin, Ink Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.94

4. Aasha. Board game played on the days preceding the 9th of Av Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Wood, dyed shells, velvet 2008.0 JM-1 The ladies and girls usually played a game called aasha during that season. We made circles on a piece of plank, something like the game called damka. Aasha is played with twelve small shells for each of the two players. You throw five larger cowrie shells with one of them broken on the back, and you move the shells according to the number you get from the throw. We did not take this game very seriously then. It was just a board game like many other board games. But recently Mr. Koder of Cochin gave an old aasha board to someone from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. They put it in their catalog, which came to the attention of [...] the British Museum in London [which] collected a number of game boards from archaeological sites all over the world. One of these game boards which was found in Ur Kasdin (the country where Father Abraham was born) had some similarity to this Cochin game of aasha. Though the boards were found, no rules were found. [...] By looking for someone who knows how to play this game of aasha, they found me in Israel. I left Cochin forty-one years ago, and nobody has played this game since! There are only two or three of us left now from the old generation. [...] In those days we used to say that the twelve shells for aasha represent the twelve tribes of Israel, who fought each other, and the five shells represent the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar, which is the month of Ab. (Ruby Daniel and Barbara C. Johnson, Ruby of Cochin. An Indian Jewish Woman Remembers, Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society, 1995: 162) 5. David G. Mandelbaum (1911-1987) Scenes of Jewish life in Kerala Kerala, India, September 1937 Original format: movie, 16mm, silent, b&w Gift of David G. Mandelbaum, David Goodman Mandelbaum collection of visual materials on Jewish life in Kerala, India, 76.311.1 David Goodman Mandelbaum, who taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1946 until his retirement in 1978, was one of the first cultural anthropologists to undertake ethnographic research in India. In 1937, he visited Kerala during the High Holy Days and spent two weeks with the Jewish community there, documenting many of their customs, taking photographs, making a short film, and collecting materials he published in The Jewish Way of Life in Cochin (Jewish Social Studies 1/1939) and in several later articles. Mandelbaum served in the U.S. Army in India and Burma during the Second World War and taught at the University of Minnesota before coming to U.C. Berkeley. His many publications included the authoritative two-volume Society in India (1970). His

analysis of the social structure of the Kerala Jews had a significant influence on subsequent scholarship about them. Hanging lamps for home and synagogue (Left to right) Should the visitor happen to come on a festive day he would notice [...] the hanging silver lamps which contain either 13 or 7 tumblers to contain as many wicks, in memory of the seven lamps that burned in the temple at Jerusalam [sic]. Two such lamps have inscriptions on them, and stand to commemorate the gratitude of their donor--Colonel Maccauly [sic] once representative of the East India Company at the Court of Cochin. The gallant Colonel became the subject of an attack at the hands of the Paliath Atchan, the then hereditary ministers of Cochin; and he fled for life and found refuge in Jew Town, where he was hid and his life saved from his pursuers. On escaping to Travancore, this gallant officer praised the Jews of Cochin, to the Maharaja of Travancore and His Highness as a token of his appreciation of the good deed on the part of the Cochin Jews, ultimately after some negotiations, presented to the Synagogue, a beautiful large golden diadem set with gems to adorn one of the Rolls of Law kep in the Synagogue. (A.B. Salem, Eternal Light, or Jew town synagogue, Ernakulam, S. D. Printing Works, 1929: 18-19). 6. Sabbath and holiday hanging lamp for home and synagogue, with seven oil cup holders and nine cups Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.2 7. Sabbath hanging lamp for home and synagogue, with seven oil cup holders Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.99.5 8. Hanging synagogue lamp England, Liverpool, S. & C. Bishop and Co., after 1922 Glass, metal Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.7 9. Sabbath hanging lamp for home and synagogue, with seven oil cup holders Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.12

10. Holiday hanging lamp for the synagogue, with thirteen oil cup holders Kochi, Kerala, India, [18th-19th centuries] Silver washed brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.4 11. Holiday hanging lamp for the synagogue, with nine oil cup holders, inscribed in Hebrew for Colonel Colin Macaulay (1770-1836) Kochi, Kerala, India, 18th-19th centuries (dates of inscription: Friday, 24 Kislev, 5568, December 25, 1807) Silver Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.3 The Hebrew inscription recites: Consecrated by the honorable and esteemed Mr. Colonel Colin Macaulay, may God preserve him and keep him alive, on Friday, 24th of Kislev, year 5568 of the Creation, which corresponds to the 25th of December of the year 1807, may God preserve him and keep him alive, Amen. In 1807, when he presented this lamp to the Paradesi synagogue in Kochi, Colin Macaulay (1759-1836) was the head official (Resident) of the British East India Co. for the adjacent kingdom of Travancore, accompanying Travancores Chief Minister on a visit to Kerala. The Minister presented a solid gold Torah Crown to the synagogue on behalf of the Raja of Travancore at a Friday Evening Service on the eve of Hanukkah, which that year coincided with Christmas. The occasion and the gifts were reported by the Bombay Courier in an article dated January 20, 1808. In written and oral accounts of Paradesi history, these two objects (the silver lamp and the gold crown) are linked through a dramatic story. It is told that a Paradesi Jew saved Macaulays life when he was being pursued by a murderous mob, and that he and the Raja then gave these gifts in gratitude. Indeed Macaulay did flee for his life from such an attack in Kochi, but the attack occurred in December 1808, a year after the dedication of the lamp and the crown. It may be that Macaulay donated an additional lamp (or perhaps two) after his rescue, as two or three Macaulay lamps are mentioned in a number of sources, and one of these was given to Rabbi Bernard Kimmel for the Magnes Museum in Berkeley. (Barbara C. Johnson, written communication, 2013). 12. Hanging synagogue lamp 20th century Glass, copper alloy Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.99.4


Warren Hellman Gallery

A. B. Salem papers (1913-1959) Gift of Raymond and Balfour Salem, Bernard Kimmel collection, 1967.0.15 Abraham Barak (A.B.) Salem (18821967) was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Kerala. An attorney, political activist, Indian nationalist and a Zionist, he was noted for his idealism and outspoken support for social equality within the Jewish community and in local and national politics. Born to a poor family marginalized in their own synagogue community, he overcame many obstacles to earn a law degree in Madras, where he made the acquaintance of young leaders who would be important in the movement for Indian independence. In 1929-30 he was a delegate to the Congress meeting in Lahore, where Gandhis declaration of Indian Independence was passed. Salem served for twelve years on the Cochin Legislative Council (between 1925 and 1945). He was active in organizing labor unions for rickshaw drivers and other workers, and he negotiated with the powerful Consort of the ruling Maharajah to develop plans for an electrical company and a ferry service in Kochi. A well-educated, devout and observant Jew, he prayed daily, served as Hebrew examiner for Madras University, read widely in English, and had social contacts and intellectual encounters with Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Theosophists in Kerala. He visited Palestine for the first time in 1933. Salem is best known in Kochi Jewish history for two particular accomplishments: his efforts to achieve ritual equality for his family and all members of the Paradesi congregation, and his role in planning the mass immigration (aliyah) of the Kochi Jewish community to Israel. From 1951 until 1954, he chaired the Board of Trustees for the United Synagogues of Malabar, representing the seven Kerala communities that had pooled their assets in order to speed their immigration process. After several years of frustrating delays, he was sent to Israel by the communities to Israel and met with President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi in 1953. A.B. Salems correspondence and diaries (1913-1959), included in the Abraham Barak Salem papers of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, are a unique primary source on Jewish life as well as about political, economic and social developments in Kerala at the time of Indias independence and the establishment of the State of Israel. Salem is also the subject of several photographs and a film taken in Kochi by anthropologist David G. Mandelbaum in 1937. 1. 1933 (Diary No. 5) February, 1933: Travels in Palestine (Bethlehem and Hebron)

2. 1947 (Diary No. 6) September 11, 1937: Visit to Kochi by American anthropologist David G. Mandelbaum 3. A. B. Salem Political Pamphlet No. 1. A Scheme for a Constitution in Cochin Ernakulam, Kerala, India, I. S. Press, 1924 4. A. B. Salem Express Inland Telegram draft India, Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department, July 20, 1950

Manuscript text recites: To 1) Abramicha, Thekkumbagam Synagogue, Ernakulam, 2) Copy to Manager, Kadavumbagam Synagogue, Ernakulam: Jerusalem Immigration Department considering your aliya arrangements. None should leave Ernakulam till called for.
Also in case: 1926 (Un-numbered Diary) 1930-1931 (Diary No. 3) 1931-1932 (Diary No. 4) 1938-1939 (Diary No. 7) 1939-1940 (Diary No. 8) 1941-1942 (Diary No. 9) 1943-1944 (Diary No. 10)

1. Ketubbah (marriage contract) of Eliyah ben Meir (Elias Roby) and Simchah bat Yehudah, depicting a jewel-studded crown, two flanking peacocks, plants and floral motifs Kochi, Kerala, India, 8 Kislev [5]676 (Monday, November 15, 1915) Gold paint, tempera, and ink on parchment Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 67.0.11 Document created for the wedding uniting members of two prominent Kochi Jewish families, signed in both Hebrew and Roman scripts. The Roby (Rahabi) family descended from the grandfather of Ezekiel Rahabi, a 17th-century communal leader and Chief Merchant of the Dutch East India Company; the father of the bride was Yehudah Koder. The text of the contract opens with the invocation, In the name of the Merciful, full of mercy, a formula common to Indian and Yemenite Jewish traditions.


2. Hanging synagogue lamp inscribed in Malayalam and Hebrew North Paravur (Parur), Kerala, India, n.d. Brass Gift of the Jewish Community of Parur, Bernard Kimmel collection, 77.343 Hanging lamp, possibly a ner tamid (eternal lamp placed in front of a synagogues Torah Ark). The Hebrew inscription recites: This lamp was given by Barukh, son of the honorable David Ashkenazi, as a gift [from] his mother for the sanctity of Parur. Descendants of Jeuda (Yehuda) and David Asquenazi, sons of Rabbi Mosseh Asquenaz, who died in Kochi in 1646, and whose father came from Germany, were members of the Paradesi community since the 17th century. The son of the donor of the lamp may be identified as Barukh David Ashkenazi (1810-1865). The Malayalam inscription possibly identifies Muchiri Pangan as the maker of the lamp. 3-6. James P. Brochin Photographs Kerala, India, 1979 Silver gelatin prints Exterior of Chendamangalam synagogue, 97.0.177 Mother with child in Parur, 97.0.176 Shamash of Parur synagogue, 97.0.175 Interior of Parur synagogue, 97.0.174 7. Israel Kayatsky [Bernard Kimmel presenting a memorial lamp from North Paravur (Parur), Kerala, India to Seymour Fromer, Director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum] Berkeley, Calif., September 28, 1974 Silver gelatin print 77.343 (object file) 8. Ketubbah (marriage contract) of Tzedeq bar Avraham and Chanah [Rachel] bat Avraham, depicting a crown, two rampant lions, floral motifs, and ten parrots Kochi, Kerala, India, 27 Adar 5647 (Wednesday, March 23, 1887) Watercolor, ink and gold leaf on parchment Gift of Shabdai Samuel Koder, 75.31 In his account of a wedding ceremony in 19th-century Kochi (masaot shelomoh, Vienna, 1884), Solomon Reinmann, a native of Galicia (Poland) who settled in Kochi and married a local woman, described the making of marriage contracts by a scribe, and by the person who embellishes the ketubbah with drawings and a gold wreath.

9. Hanging Hanukkah lamp with leaf-shaped oil wells Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.9 10. Wall-hanging triangular Hanukkah lamp, decorated with lotus flower motif Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.80.8 11. Wall-hanging triangular Hanukkah lamp, with cup holders topped by small peacocks Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th century Brass Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.1 12. sefer kitzur dine chanukah u-megilat antiyokus (Summary of the norms for Hanukkah and Scroll of Antiochus) Hebrew North Paravur, Kerala, India, Yefeh Nof Publishing House, 5689 [1928-1929] Mimeograph LIB 13. Ketubbah (marriage contract) of Avraham ben Baraq Salem of Kochi and Ruth bat Avraham, depicting animal and floral motifs, a sailing ship, and several symbols based on Jewish scriptural sources Kolkata, West Bengal, India, 1 Kislev 5676 (Monday, November 7, 1915) Ink, gouache or tempera paint, and gold metallic paint on parchment Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 74.0.5 Marriage contract consistent with similar early 20thcentury documents from Kolkata, depicting animal and floral motifs, a sailing ship, and several symbols from Jewish sources including: fish symbolizing fertility and holding amuletic meanings; six point star inscribed with the blessing with Gods help we will do and succeed and surmounting a crown (symbolizing the Torah); tablets of the Law inscribed with the Decalogue; seven-branched candelabrum and two jugs of oil; pillar of fire (right) and the pillar of cloud (left); incense altars; sheaves of wheat; two flags with

twelve circles (possibly symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel). Witnesses signatures in Hebrew; groom signature in Roman script. Document created for the wedding of A.B. and Ruth Salem. Abraham Barak (A.B.) Salem (18821967) was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Kerala. An attorney, political activist, Indian nationalist and a Zionist, he was noted for his idealism and outspoken support for social equality within the Jewish community and in local and national politics. Ruth Salem, a distant cousin of A.B. Salem and the daughter of a Catholic father and a Kochi Jewish mother, completed her medical studies in Madras and worked most of her life as a doctor in Ernakulam and Kochi, contributing substantially to the familys income as well as to the raising of their five children. Their wedding took place at the Magen David synagogue in Kolkata where Ruth had converted to Judaism. 14. Mattancherry Synagogue. 400th Year Celebrations Malayalam and English Kochi, Kerala, India, K.V.P. Offset Printing Works Sivakasi, 1968 Offset lithograph Gift of Seymour Fromer, 75.260 Bilingual poster for the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the Paradesi synagogue (1568) in the Mattancherry district of the city of Kochi, Kerala, held in December, 1968.

1. Grooms vest (sattriyah ) or young mans vest for festive occasions India, Kochi, Kerala, 20th cent. Silk, gold wash silver embroidery thread, cotton cord and lined with cotton Judah L. Museum Purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection,75.183.53 2. Womans skirt (podava ) for weddings or Holidays India, Kochi, Kerala, 20th cent. Silk, gold wash silver embroidery thread, acetate ribbon and sequins, glass beads, cotton cord, and cotton lined Gift of the Kimmel Family, Bernard Kimmel collection, 2009.19.3


3. Amulet for the protection of pregnant women and newborn children Collected in India (before 1976) Hebrew, Aramaic and Judeo-Spanish Ink on vellum, adhered to pressboard Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.83 (A5) Amulet for the protection of pregnant women against infertility and miscarriage and for the protection of newborn children against the evil Lilith on the eve of the ritual circumcision (brit milah). Lilith is depicted at center as a bird of prey surmounting a throne or chair (possibly a depiction of the chair of Elijah, or kise shel eliyahu, used in the circumcision ritual). The central figures are inscribed and surrounded by multiple texts of various origins and significance relating to magic and mysticism within a rectangular outer frame. The outer frame is divided in 145 squares each containing a three-letter word following a sequence based on the 72 names (of God) (after Exodus 14:19-21), beginning at the bottom left corner of the manuscript with the letters vav-vav-vav. Each of the four corners is marked by four five-pointed stars inscribed in four squares. Each star contains at its center one of the four letters of the Tetragrammaton fully spelled as yud-he-vav-he in the sequence: top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left. Within the points of each star, five letters spell the word elohim (God) and outside the star five letters spell the word tzevaot (of hosts). The top section includes Hebrew text on seven lines with quotations from the Book of Psalms (Ps. 90:19 and 91:1ff) interpolated by names of angels (Michael, Metatron, Amtruel...) and the repetition of the word eheyeh (after Exodus 3:14) for twenty-one times, with each letter fully spelled as alef-he-yudhe. Below the top section, surmounting the central figure, is a truncated inverted triangular text box containing a text that includes the words kandlar kandelas (possibly in Judeo-Spanish) and may refer to a candle-lighting ritual. The central figure depicts a bird of prey identified on top by the Hebrew word, nesher, which indicates both eagles and vultures, flanked by two sets of fifteen feathers, each containing a Hebrew letter. Six of the feathers (at top, middle, and bottom of each set) also contain three sets of palindromic words: 1. agla and alga (or aquila, for eagle), an acronym for atah gibor le-olam adonay (Lord, you are forever mighty), after the second section ( gevurot) of the daily amidah prayer. 2. azbogah and hagovza, which may refer to one of the seven Gnostic emanations of God, or Aeons. 3. two permutations of the Hebrew letters dalet, nun sofit, yud, samech, and tzadeh sofit.

The bird surmounts a chair, or throne, which may be a depiction of the chair of Elijah, used in the ritual circumcision ceremony. The chair contains three Hebrew inscriptions: 1. el shaday tzivah pachad samangalaf mizrach shemor 2. adonay tt zayir yetzirah (the acronym tavtav may refer to tiferet, the sixth sefirah in the kabbalistic Tree of life) 3.adam, chavah (Adam and Eve) Below the central figure is the name, pafmiel. The central figure is surrounded by four circles of texts composed from biblical quotation. From the inner to the outer circle: 1. Psalm 91:1-9 (incipit: yoshev be-seter eliyon) 2. Priestly blessing, Num. 6:24-26 (incipit: yevarekhekha adonay ve-yishmerekha), displayed with each letter encapsulated in a semi-circular roundel 3. Song of Songs 3:7-8 (incipit: hineh mitato shelshelomoh), repeated three times, and displayed with each word surmounted by a decorative motif 4. Proverbs 30:17 (incipit: ayin tilag le-av) repeated multiple times, each time with a different word sequence. The text on the right of the central figure includes two sets of Hebrew Aramaic formulas in oath form (incipit: mashbia ani alekhem...) for the protection of mothers and newborn children and quotations from the Book of Psalms (Ps. 121:4), after the formulas for protection against the evil eye known as oath of rabbi Azulai, attributed to Chayyim Yosef David Azulai (ha-chida, Jerusalem 1724-Livorno 1806) based on his work, Avodat ha-qodesh (Moreh be-etzba, Livorno, Saadun, 1793-1794). Several of Azulais books are included in the volumes collected from the Jewish community of Kochi, Kerala, now at The Magnes. The text on the left of the central figure includes Hebrew and Aramaic formulas (comprising biblical quotations), including an oath against the evil Lilith who harms children and against the evil eye and satan (incipit: ve-alaykh lilit ha-rashaah). The bottom section of amulet includes, from left to right: 1. Square text box containing the words shaday and adonay (both names of God) and, at center, an acronym after the initials of the words in Exodus 23:26 (None shall miscarry nor be barren in your land). 2. Three quadrants with the Aramaic words (right to left): susya, sarga, sisia. 3. Central quadrant containing six three-letter words, graphically related to the three-letter words in the adjacent outer frame. 4. Hebrew letter tet inscribed with Kabbalistic permutations of the name of God after Moshe Cordoveros Pardes rimonim (Cracow, 1592, 21:14). 5. Names of angels: sanui, sansanui, samengalaf and samangalon, intercalated by the name, lilith.


4. Mezuzah case and scroll Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Metal, glass, metallic paint, ink on parchment Gift of Kochi Jewish community members, Bernard Kimmel collection, 77.338 5. Mezuzah case with two six-pointed stars, after a style also common in Mumbai Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Brass Bernard Kimmel collection, 77.339 6. Mezuzah case and scroll Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Wood, metal, glass, paint, ink on parchment Bernard Kimmel collection, 69.69 7. Wedding ring from the Hallegua family, with engraved initials EX Kochi, Kerala, India, collected in 1937 Silver Gift of Dr. David G. Mandelbaum, 73.49.2 On the wedding night, the silver ring that is presented to the bride by the bridegroom and which is ceremoniously made on the wedding day earlier in the house will be brought to the Synagogue and after being thoroughly cleansed will be immersed in the cup of wine, with a string attached to it, to pull it out easily from the long cup of wine without desecrating the wine by dipping the hand into it. (A. B. Salem, Eternal Light, or Jew town synagogue, Ernakulam, S. D. Printing Works, 1929: 11). 8. Sefer chupat chatanim ve-hu qovetz piyutim vepizmonim la-chupah le-havdalah ve-milah keminhag qq qogyn yaa (Book of the Wedding Canopy, which is a collection of poems and songs for the wedding, the havdalah, and the ritual circumcision [ceremonies] according to the customs of the holy congregation of Kochi, may God protect them) New edition with commentary and notes by Naftali Eliyah Rahabi Hebrew and English Mumbai, Maharashtra, Lebanon Type & Litho Works, David Yehudah Ashkenazi, [5]677 (1916-1917) Copy stamped with ex-libris and signature of Ezekul Meyer Roby of Kochi LIB


9-14. David G. Mandelbaum (1911-1987) Scenes of Jewish life in Kerala Kerala, India, September 1937 Silver gelatin prints Gift of David G. Mandelbaum, David Goodman Mandelbaum collection of visual materials on Jewish life in Kerala, India, 76.311 The photographic prints and lantern slides Prof. Mandelbaum donated to The Magnes in 1976 include the call number CJ (Cochin Jews) and his own manuscript annotations on the back of each print. A complete set of eighty-six small contact prints, with additional annotations, is part of the Photographs from the David Goodman Mandelbaum papers collection at The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1989.072). The following titles and descriptions combine information from both sources. 9. Shochet of the Malabar (Black) Jews Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 1976.311.3.110 (CJ 72) 10. Group of Jewish children. All on right are girls; three boys to the left Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 25, 1937 1976.311.3.90 (CJ 2) 11. Simchat Torah procession into White Jews [Paradesi] synagogue Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 1976.311.3.88 (CJ 59) 12. Outside Central [Tekkumbhagam] Synagogue of Malabar (Black) Jews. Women on balcony may not enter synagogue proper because they are having their menstrual periods Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 1976.311.3.82 (CJ 69) 13. Interior of [Kadavumbagam] synagogue Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 1937 1976.311.3.61 (CJ12) 14. Jew Street, Ernakulam (Black Jews). The skullcapped boys are all Jewish. The sign on left reads Jew Street in English and Malayalam Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 1937 1976.311.3.84 (CJ 3)


15. Hebrew calendar for the year 5709 (19481949), with corresponding dates in English and Malayalam Hebrew, Malayalam, English Kochi, Kerala, India, October 1948 Ink and graphite on paper LIB 66.1 Multilingual calendar reconciling Hebrew dates (year 5709) with those of the Malayalam and Gregorian counts (years 1124-1125 and 1948-1949, respectively), decorated with a six-pointed star inscribed with the Hebrew word, Zion. Also inscribed in Hebrew with a blessing for the New Year 5709 (marking the foundation of the State of Israel), computed through the numeric value of the Hebrew letters from a biblical quotation (Isaiah 65:1: for my salvation is near to come), and with the wish for next year in Jerusalem (after the Passover Haggadah).

1. Womans skirt (podava ) for holidays and festive occasions Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Silk, metal sequins, glass beads, metal gold wash silver thread lace ribbon, muslin cotton lining Gift of the Kimmel family, Bernard Kimmel collection, 2009.19.4 2. Womans skirt (podava ) for holidays and festive occasions Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Silk, metal sequins, glass beads, metallic acetate ribbon, muslin cotton lining Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hahn, 75.183.292 3. Young mans vest (sattriyah ) for holidays and festive occasions, embroidered with floral motifs Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th-20th century Silk, gold wash silver thread, cotton cording, cotton lined Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 75.183.35 4. Mans vest (sattriyah) for holidays and festive occasions, embroidered with a leaf pattern Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th-20th century Cotton velvet, gold wash silver thread, cotton cording, cotton lined Gift of the Kimmel family, Bernard Kimmel collection, 2009.19.7


David G. Mandelbaum (1911-1987) Scenes of Jewish life in Kerala Photographic Laboratories, University of Minnesota, n.d. Lantern slides, after black and white transparencies (photographic slides) taken in Kerala, India, September 1937 Gift of David G. Mandelbaum, David Goodman Mandelbaum collection of visual materials on Jewish life in Kerala, India, 76.311 1. Jewtown. Outside of the [Tekkumbhagam] synagogue, little boy wears only skull cap and abdominal chain around waist, with the silver pendant over pubic area. Synagogue in background Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 1937 (taken by R.V. Kamath) 76.311.2.1 (CJ 10) 2. Jews Synagogue & Clock Tower Kochi, Kerala, India, R. K. & Co., n.d. Undated photographic reproduction of postcard 76.311.2.2 (original in BANC PIC 1989.072, folder 12) 3. Rajas Temple & Synagogue Kochi, Kerala, India, R. K. & Co. n.d. Undated photographic reproduction of postcard 76.311.2.3 (original in BANC PIC 1989.072, folder 12) 4. The Ark of the Law, White Jews [Paradesi] Synagogue. Note open scroll case with Sefer Torah inside; talith [prayer shawl]. Note tiles Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.4 (CJ 45) 5. Inside White Jews [Paradesi] Synagogue. Reading desk and Ark. A.B. Salem, Satu Koder. Note tiles Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.5 (CJ 46) 6. Old Hallegua at prayers with old Roby (?) at right [seated by window at north side of Paradesi synagogue] Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.6 (CJ 54)


7. Tekkumbhagam Southern synagogue. Ritual scourging on day before Yom Kippur Kochi, Kerala, India, September 14, 1937 76.311.2.7 (CJ 33) Flat pads of goatskin used as lash and prescribed number of blows give by beater who stands [on] a stone. Recipient, stripped to waist leans against bamboo pole (in vestibule of synagogue), wrists crossed and tied to pole with kerchief. In front of him, prayers are read. Recipient of blows puts an [offering] in a cup before the lashing. 8. The teacher of the Malabar (Black) Jewish Community [known as Vavucha Molyaru] Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.8 (CJ 41) 9. Simhat Torah procession into White Jews [Paradesi] synagogue Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.9 (CJ 59) 10. Lili Koder, Mrs. S. S. [Simcha] Koder, Pearl[y] Hallegua in synagogue dress Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.10 (CJ 76) Lili Koder, Mrs. Satu Koder, Pearl Hallegua in ceremonial synagogue dress. Note foot gear, embroidery, prayer book. Two costumes at left are white and gold [...] at right is gold and purple. 11. Joseph Hai holding Sefer Torah in front of synagogue Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.12 (CJ 11) 12. Goat skin being prepared to make parchment for Sefer Torah Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.13 (CJ 16) Old man who was setting it up refused to have his picture taken because he was not in Jewish Dress.


13. Esther Hallegua (?) Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.14 (CJ 24) Note: Jasmine in hair, earrings, blouse design. 14. A.B. Salem and Rebecca Zion. Sign in English & Malayalam Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.15 (CJ 43) 15. White Jews. Talking on the steps of the South [Tekkumbhagam] Synagogue. Satu [Shabdai Samuel Koder] and Lilly Koder, Miriam Kochi, Kerala, India, September 1937 76.311.2.16 (CJ 18) 16. Men in everyday dress. Holding Sefer Torah at door of synagogue. Jewish children, girl at left Ernakulam, Kerala, India, September 25, 1937 76.311.2.17 (CJ1)

Cochin Synagogue Quater Centennial Celebrations, 15th-19th December 1968, participants portfolio Kochi, Kerala, India, 1968 2013.0.5 Promoted by the Kerala History Association and a Celebration Committee led by Shabdai Samuel Koder (1907-1994), a leader of the Kochi Jewish community, the Cochin Synagogue Quater Centennial Celebrations took place at the Mattancherry Town Hall, lasting from the afternoon of Sunday, December 15th until the night of Wednesday, December 18th, gathering national and international interest towards the citys Paradesi synagogue. The celebrations, chaired by the Governor of Kerala, V. Viswanathan, were opened with an inaugural address by Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India. The program included an extensive exhibition of documents, books and artifacts from collections worldwide, seminars on history, linguistics, philosophy, music, and the study of national minorities with the participation of international scholars (including Walter Fischel, Professor of Semitic Languages and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley), as well as music, theater and dance performances. The program, which was also punctuated by the celebration of Hanukkah in the Paradesi synagogue, culminated in a tour of Kerala for all out-of-state delegates.


1. Cochin Synagogue Quater Centenary 15th to 19th December 1968 portfolio case Woven palm fiber, cotton bias tape, cardboard 2013.0.5 p 2 & 3. Tourist maps Offset lithographs 2013.0.5 k-l Tourist Map of India, Kolkata, West Bengal India, Eagle Lithographing Co., Government of India, 1965 India, Kerala, Kolkata, West Bengal India, Lalchand Roy & Co., Government of India, 1966 4. Cochin Synagogue Quater Centennial Celebrations, Under the joint auspices of Kerala History Association and The Celebration Committee, 15th-19th December 1968 Ernakulam, Kochi, Kerala, India, Thilakam Press,1968 Bound program booklet 2013.0.5 i 5. Pinback button depicting the interiors of the Paradesi synagogue, inscribed with the dates 1568-1968 Mumbai, Maharashtra, Pluck & Co. Mahim, 1968 Metal, paper, and plastic 2013.0.5 b 6. Cochin Synagogue 400th Year Celebrations 1968 celebratory rosette Kochi, Kerala, India, 1968 Paper and acetate 2013.0.5 j 7. Cochin Synagogue 1568-1968 first day cover and commemorative postage stamp Kochi, Kerala, India, Indian Posts & Telegraphs, December 15, 1968 Engraving 2013.0.5 c 8. Shabdai Samuel Koder Saga of the Jews of Cochin Kochi, Kerala, India, 1968 Souvenir book 2013.0.5 e


9 & 10. Head covering (kippah ) inscribed Hebrew and English: May the joys of [the people of] Israel multiply, 400th Anniversary, Cochin Synagogue, 5729 - 1968 Kochi, Kerala, India, 1968 Silk, cotton lining 2013.0.5 a, and 2008.28 11. Yuvakeralam, A Progressive Independent Daily Malayalam and English Kochi, Kerala, India, December 15, 1968 2013.0.5 o

E3. Manuscripts
1. Scroll of Esther and case, decorated with floral motifs India, Kochi, Kerala, 20th century Silver, parchment and ink Judah L. Magnes museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.75.1 2. Scroll of Esther and wooden finial India, Kochi, Kerala, 20th century Wood (olive), goat skin and ink Judah L. Magnes museum purchase, Bernard Kimmel collection, 68.75.6a 3. Anonymous Cheshbon shel shanah 5504... (Accounting records for the year 1744-1745...) Hebrew Southern India, 1744-1820 Ink on paper, leather binding India Ms. 92 Record book of a spice trader active since the mid-18th century on the Malabar coast. Includes lists of spices bought and sold; names of business relations (included are the names of prominent Kochi Jewish families: Maday, Hallegua, and others); and a list of my books (Hebrew books presumably owned by the anonymous merchant). Entries continue through the 1770s, with one additional entry (at beginning of manuscript) dated [5]580 (1820).


Hebrew books printed in India for the Kerala Jewish community 1. sefer berit yitzchaq. le-limud be-leyl shemini terem yiknisu ha-ben la-berit ha-milah... (Book of the covenant of Isaac. For study on the eighth night before a son is inducted in the covenant of circumcision) Hebrew and English Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Lebanon Printing Press, J. D. Ashkenazi, 5669/1909 Judah David Ashenazi, a mohel (ritual circumciser) from Kochi, moved to Mumbai where he established the Lebanon Printing Press, which issued liturgical books used by both the Mumbai and Kochi Jewish communities. His collection of texts for the ritual celebrated on the vigil before a ritual circumcision, published in 1909, was based on manuscript sources from Kochi, such as India Ms. 18, berit yitzchaq liqutim (19th cent.) in The Magnes Collection. The texts include portions of the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, and the Zohar. 2. [Piyyutim for the High Holy Days according to the Sephardic-Portuguese ritual, with Malayalam translation] Hebrew and Jewish Malayalam Kochi, Kerala, India, [Yaaqov Daniyel Kohen, 1870], missing title page 3. sefer qitzur hilkhot pesach hiqbetzu. ha-nohagim lomar be-vet ha-keneset be-shabat ha-gadol (Collected summary of the norms for Passover, as they are customarily said in the synagogue on shabbat ha-gadol ) Hebrew North Paravur, Kerala, India, Yefeh nof, [5]689 (1929-1930) 4. The Order of Supplication and other prayers including The Order of Confession according to the custom of the Jewish community of Baghdad with an English translation Hebrew and English Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Lebanon Printing Press, J. D. Ashkenazi & Co., 5567/1907


5. sichot be-ivrit. Conversations in Hebrew Hebrew, English and Malayalam [North Paravur, Kerala, India], [5]711-1950 Mimeograph

Jewish books collected in Kochi, Kerala (1967) 1. Shemuel de Vidas - Avraham Hayon perush megilat ekhah le-ha-rav... shemuel ben chabib de vidas im sefer amurot tehorot le-ha-rav don avraham chayion (Commentary on the Book of Lamentations by Rabbi... Shemuel ben Chabib de Vidas, with the Book of Pure Sayings by the rabbi... Don Avraham Hayon) Hebrew Thessaloniki, Avraham ben Matatiyah Bat Sheva, [5]370 (1610) RB 16/16 Annotations in Hebrew (Kochi cursive script, beginning of volume) and Spanish (Este libro es de Isaac Barchilon, end of volume). Bound together with title page of sefer pitaron chalomot (Interpretation of dreams), Venice, Bragadina, 1670. 2. Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo (1602-1675) Kedosh hilulim. Las alabanas de santidad. Traducion de los Psalmos de David por la misma phrasis y palabras del hebrayco Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Spanish and Latin Amsterdam, [unidentified publisher], 5431 (1670-1671) RB 44 Book of Psalms in Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish, dedicated to Itzchaq Chayyim Senior Teixeyra (16251705), counselor to Queen Cristina of Sweden. Also in case: 3. reshimat sefarim ha-nimtzaim be-vet ha-defus shlomo belforte ve-chaverav... Catalogo della Casa Editrice S. Belforte & C. (Catalog of the publishing house S. Belforte & Co.) Hebrew and Italian Livorno, S. Belforte, 1923 RB 656


4. Nahum Sokolow (1859-1936) Eretz chemdah (Land of delight) Hebrew Warsaw, Y. Goldman, [5]745-1885 RB 16/26 Adaptation of Laurence Oliphants Land of Gilead (1880) by Hebrew writer, pioneer in modern Hebrew journalism, and president of the World Zionist Organization N. Sokolow. 5. Samuel Archivolti (1515-1611) sefer arugat ha-bosem (Garden of perfumes) Hebrew Amsterdam, Props, [5]490 (1730-1731) RB 452 Hebrew grammar, with section on Hebrew cryptography, by italian rabbi, author, poet and grammarian S. Archivolti. Title page and last pages copied by hand from missing original pages. 6. Ishmael ha-Kohen Tanuji (16th century) sefer ha-zikharon (Book of Remembrance) Hebrew Ferrara, Ercole dAsti-Avraham Oshki, [5]315 (1555) RB 16/5 Collection of rulings and laws selected from the early halakhic authorities and arranged in the order of the talmudic tractates, by Tunisian rabbi and author, Ishmael Tanuji, active in his native Tunisia and in Egypt. Title page and first three pages copied by hand from missing original pages. 7. Judah Ayyas (ca. 1690-1760) sefer she[elot]u-t[eshuvot] bet yehudah (Book of Responsa: House of Judah) Hebrew Livorno, Abraham Meldola, [5]506 (1746) RB 11/6 8. Joseph ben Ephraim Caro (1488-1575) tur even ha-ezer (The Stone of Help [shulchan arukh]) Hebrew Berlin, Zeev Wolf, [5]462 (1702-1703) RB 14/3 9. Isaac ben Judah Abrabanel (1437-1508) Perush ha-torah. Commentarius in Pentateuchum Mosis Hebrew Hanau, Heinrich Jacob Bashuysen, 1710 RB 1/4

Drawer One: Mysticism and Magic
The manuscripts in The Magnes Collection offer a wide-ranging portrait of the role of mysticism and magic among the Jews in Kochi. Amulets were created (or imported) by Kochi Jews to safeguard their homes, assist newlyweds with fertility problems, and protect pregnant women and newborn children. The Paradesi synagogue seems to have been an important site for the celebration of ritual circumcisions, which were preceded by a vigil of prayer and study (a well-known ritual among many Jewish communities in North Africa, Italy and Ashkenaz since early-modern times) that included reading excerpts from the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, Midrash, and the Zohara central text in Jewish mysticismfrom manuscript and printed sources. 1. Anonymous brit yitzchaq liqutim (Covenant of Isaac. Compilations) Hebrew and Aramaic Kochi, Kerala, India, [19th century] Ink on paper India Ms. 18 (also in book form) 2. Letter by Salem Efraim Bavel to the Elders of the Paradesi synagogue asking to perform a ritual circumcision for his newborn son Hebrew Kochi, Kerala, India, November, 1951 Ink on paper India Ms. 194 With the Help of God To the Holy Paradesi Congregation, Kochi Synagogue Honored Gentlemen, I am happy to inform your honors and to propose before you that on Tuesday, 21 marcheshvan 5712 [20 November 1951], in an auspicious sign, my special son, Gods legacy and recompense of progeny, will enter into the covenant of our father Abraham. And I request your honors to assemble in the house of circumcision to merit the commandments recompense and to assist me and to conduct the commandment according to the custom of Israel. One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah. With a blessing of [an] extended hand, Salem Efraim Bavel [Followed by signatures of approval by] M. Ra[habi], The youth Yitzchaq [Mosheh] [Hallegua], E. Roby, E. Hallegua].

3. Natal chart for determining birth star by cross-referencing the day of week and the hour of birth Hebrew Kochi, Kerala, India, [20th century] Ink and pigment on parchment 2009.0.36

Drawer two: Liturgy and Ritual in Hebrew and Malayalam Manuscripts

The manuscripts in The Magnes Collection offer important examples of interaction between Hebrew, the normative Jewish liturgical language, and Malayalam, the official language of Kerala, spoken today by more than thirty million people. Jewish Malayalam has been defined recently as both a Jewish language and a Malayalam dialect, traditionally spoken conversationally within the Jewish communities of Kerala. Its written forms are found in the literal tamsir texts studied by Jewish men and in poetic songs sung by Jewish women and preserved by them in handwritten notebooks. The language and the songs are currently the subject of expert linguistic and literary analysis. 1. Machzor (Prayer Book) for Yom Kippur belonging to David Cohen Kol Nidre Hebrew and Jewish Malayalam Kochi, Kerala, India, 20th century Ink on paper India Ms. 75 Liturgical manuscript for the Eve of Yom Kippur exemplifying the role of tamsir, the Jewish Malayalam term for verbatim translation to Malayalam of passages from Hebrew texts. Line-by-line translations were preserved and transmitted in both oral and written form by Jewish men for the purpose of studying Hebrew vocabulary and meaning. 2. Womans notebook of Malayalam Jewish songs belonging to Leah J. Hallegua Yigdal elokim Jewish Malayalam, Hebrew, and English Kochi, Kerala, India, 19th-20th century Ink on paper India Ms. 107 Texts of more than three hundred different womens folk songs in Jewish Malayalam have been discovered through the scholarly collection or copying


of personal song notebooks like the one in The Magnes Collection, which was carried by a woman to be used for group singing at festive events. Set to local folk and popular tunes and to melodies from Hebrew piyyutim (liturgical poems), some of these poetic Malayalam songs are many centuries old. They include Biblical narratives drawn from midrashic sources, wedding songs, devotional hymns, legends of Kerala Jewish origins, songs praising particular synagogues, and original 20th-century Zionist songs. The original version of this notebook, written on blue paper in the handwriting of at least two different people, probably dates from the late 19th century. It was rebound later and inscribed in English: This book belong to Miss Leah J. Hallegua (Kochi, 18901978). It was most likely handed down to her from an older member or members of the Hallegua family.

Drawer Three: Non-Jewish synagogue visitors

The wealth of manuscript and printed sources, in Hebrew and English, documenting the performance of the Hebrew prayer, mi-she-berakh la-melakhim (Blessing for Royalty), in The Magnes Collection, attests to the popularity of Keralas synagogues among British colonial and Indian authorities, whose presence would be encouraged and acknowledged by specific texts. It was customary for the reigning Hindu Maharajas of Cochin to indicate respect for their Jewish subjects through synagogue visits. 1. Prayer for His Majesty The King-Emperor & the Royal Family. Prayer for His Excellency the Honble Sir Arthur Hope G.C.I.E., M.C., Governor of Madras Kochi, Kerala, India, Pearl Press, 1940-1946 Offset lithograph India Ephemera 2.8.3 2. yovel ha-malkah viktorya yrh. be-shem rachaman. berakah la-malkah yrh... drash va-yiqra 25:10 (Jubilee of Queen Victoria, Her Royal Highness. Blessing for the Queen, Her Royal Highness [...] Sermon on Leviticus 25:10) Hebrew Tekkumbhagam Synagogue, February 16, 1887, 7 am Ink on paper India Ms. 85 c


3. Welcoming address to His Highness Darsana Kalanidhi, Sri Rama Varma Pareekshit, Maharaja of Cochin, on the occasion of his first visit to the Paradesi Synagogue Kochi, Kerala, India, March 24, 1949 Offset lithograph 2007.0.14.1 Parikshith Thampuran (1876-1964) was the last in a line of at least forty-one Maharajas of Kochi. He ruled for less than a year, as the princely State of Cochin officially ceased to exist in 1949.

Drawer Four: White Jews

The Paradesi synagogue in Kochi attracted a lot of interest on the part of foreigners and colonial visitors. The term white Jews gained a lot of popularity in accounts about Kerala Jewish life, and is reflected in sources portraying the community, as well as in documents created by the community itself. 1. In the Synagogue of the White Jews, Cochin. Sketches from India by our special artist The Graphic, London, February 5, 1876, p. 133 Engraving and letter press on paper Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, 87.0.9 2. Certificate of Marriage Solemnized at The White Jews Synagogue, Cochin, South India Kochi, Kerala, India, n.d. Offset lithograph 88.0.18


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