Sanctuary and Synagogue

View of the Portuguese and High German Synagogues during the Feast of Tabernacles

Drawn by P. Wagenaar Jr.
Engraved and etched by C. Philips Jacobszoon
From William Hurd, Oude en tegenwoordige staat en geschiedenis van alle godsdiensten...
Amsterdam: M. de Bruyn, 1781-1791
PNT D3.2.13

View of the Portuguese and High German Synagogues during the Feast of Tabernacles

This moonlit streetscape of the Portuguese and Ashkenazic synagogues is a remarkable record of the celebration of the holiday of Sukkot in Amsterdam at the end of the eighteenth century. The full moon in the upper right-hand corner accurately signals the commencement of this festival, which begins on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew lunar month of Tishrei. Some sukkot, booths built for the holiday, are situated on street level, while others are supported on stilts abutting second stories. Sukkot appear adjacent to the Portuguese Synagogue seen on the right, and next to both Ashkenazic synagogues on the left (the Great Synagogue is in the rear and the domed New Synagogue is closer to the foreground). The pointed roofs on the sukkot stand in contrast to the traditional flat-roofed booths of today.

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