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Location: Eastbourne, United Kingdom

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Twins.

According to rabbinic legend, each Jew receives a special soul (neshama yetera) on the Sabbath. As this extra spiritual dimension departs from the body at the close of the Sabbath, one is overcome with a certain degree of sorrow. The spices are interpreted as a means of comfort at the moment of transition to the new week. As it was customary in ancient times to welcome the Sabbath with branches of myrtle, so during the service to usher out the Sabbath — the Havdalah ceremony — people inhaled the fragrances of their branches.
In the course of generations, aromatic spices (most popularly cinnamon and cloves in Ashkenazi communities) began to replace the myrtle. The use of sweet-smelling herbs and spices roused the creative instincts of artisans and they fashioned spice boxes in widely varied designs and shapes — in gold, silver, brass, glass and wood. In Ashkenazi circles, the spice box took many forms, from flowers to miniature trains. Most popular, however, from around the sixteenth century, was the tower form, which was stylistically influenced by local architecture


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.

7/19/2006 05:20:00 PM  

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