web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Arts »

The Crescent on the Temple

Schonberg-101113-Crescent

Until 1930 this iconography was widespread in the Holy Land and in the Diaspora, suggesting a modicum of respect and friendship between Jews and Moslems. After 1930 the image of the Dome of the Rock is no longer found in Jewish Art or it is kept in the background. The unprecedented riots of August 1929 in Jerusalem and Hebron resulting in the deaths of 133 Jews was the immediate cause. The continued rise in the Middle East of nationalist politics had changed the region forever and the imagery reflects this.

So the question remains: why until 1930, was the polygonal/circular Dome of the Rock adopted by Jews to depict our most sacred spot on earth and the Temple of the End of Days, the embodiment of the desire for redemption?

One reason, in my opinion, is the mere fact that the domed structure was a reality on that holy spot, a realistic image before one’s very eyes and this caused it to be artistically rendered again and again in our works or art.

Dr. Berger believes that another reason is that until 1930 the Jews regarded the Moslems neutrally. The image of the Dome with the crescent didn’t have a negative connotation. Both Jews and Moslems fought the Christians and when the Crusaders were defeated they rejoiced together. Anti-Semitism towards Jews in Moslem lands was less marked and developed than in Europe. European Jews in times of persecution readily sought refuge in Moslem countries. Historically understood in this light one can begin to appreciate the use of the image of the Dome of the Rock for the Temple.

In her easy to read, flowing, eloquent presentation of the material, Dr. Berger shows us how one apparently small iconographic detail can be an eye opener to an entire weltanshaung of harmonious and peaceful relationships between Arabs and Jews.

She concludes by suggesting that we should use our imagery of the past as a role model for the future to try to find a peaceful solution to the Middle East problem to invoke the holiness of the place of the Foundation Stone together – thus rather stretching an examination of art appreciation and imagery into matters a little beyond the scope of the material.

As for the rebuilding of the Beit haMikdash on the Even HaShetiyah – “this will have to be left for the Messiah”!

About the Author: Joy Schonberg is an art historian. Formerly head of the Judaica Dept. of Christie’s Int’l, she is presently an appraiser of fine arts, lecturer and President of Joy Schonberg Galleries a gallery dealing with Antique Judaica, paintings, silver artifacts, and archaeology. She can be reached at JoySchonberg@aol.com or at www.joyschonberg.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Crescent on the Temple”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, with their sons Yair (R) and Avner (2L),  on December 01, 2014.
Iranian News: ‘Teheran Targeted Netanyahu’s Sons’ in Retaliation
Latest Sections Stories
Dr. Esther Rose Lowy

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

book-Lincoln

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

Garbage in your streets, my city
Wind-blown litter, lonely men

I love you in your blazing heat
my aching feet
dragging in your streets.

These monsters constantly attack
When we dare to try to fight back

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

More Articles from Joy Schonberg
Schonberg-101113-Crescent

The Dome of the Rock, often represented with an Islamic crescent on top, became the image for the Temple in Jewish, Christian and Moslem art for over 500 years. How and why this historical anomaly persisted is the subject of a fascinating in-depth study of Jewish, Christian and Moslem imagery and its interpretation spanning more than 2,000 years of biblical & later history by Dr. Pamela Berger, professor of Medieval Art at Boston College, Boston, MA.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/the-crescent-on-the-temple/2013/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: