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Document Details :
Title: The Inventory of Ceremonial Objects of the Portuguese Jewish Community of Amsterdam of 1640
Author(s): COHEN, Julie-Marthe
Journal: Studia Rosenthaliana
Volume: 37 Date: 2004
Early in the 17th century in Amsterdam a group of Portuguese merchants began to return to Judaism under the direction of Uri ha-Levi, an Ashkenazi rabbi from Emden. In their first synagogue services they used a Torah scroll which the rabbi had brought with him and which he later presented to the first Portuguese Jewish community, Bet Jacob. Four years later, the founder of that community, Jacob Tirado, commissioned Leendert Claesz., a silversmith from Emden working in Amsterdam, to make a Torah shield. Together, the shield and scroll represent tangible evidence of these earliest services and are among the oldest ceremonial objects of Amsterdam’s Portuguese Jewish community. Inventoried in 2001, the community’s collection of some 1,300 ceremonial objects has yet to be researched and published. It apparently contains a few dozen seventeenth-century objects, which is hardly representative of the community’s collection in the seventeenth and especially in the early seventeenth century.