This is the first book ever written about Jewish carpets. The history of these rugs goes back nearly 4,000 years and offers a unique and novel insight into Jewish culture through the centuries as well as into cross-cultural history. Background documentation ranges widely through descriptions taken from the Bible, Roman and Talmudic writings, the riches of the Genizah, the reports of medieval travellers, as well as archaeology and folklore. One hundred individual carpets woven in Israel, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria and the Ukraine are illustrated in colour and accompanied by individual commentaries and statistical information. These carpets range in date from the fourteenth century to the present day. The book describes the many varied purposes for which the carpets were woven. It surveys the religious carpets hanging as protection for the Ark in the synagogue and as pointers to Jerusalem in the home. It examines the early Zionist carpets which forged a new post-Ghetto Jewish identity, directing people towards the Bible lands at the same time as creating skills and work there. It covers the fascinating carpets from ORT (the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training) in which we find socialist symbols surprisingly interwoven with Jewish symbols. It also reviews some remarkably fine Islamic carpets signed by Jews.
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