9 Torah ark curtain
Hungarian, drapery: end of 17th century, curtain: 1747
Velvet, silver threads stitched and overlaid embroidery
From the collection of the Jewish Museum of Óbuda, 1950
In the Synagogue an ornate curtain separates the Torah ark from the main hall of the Synagogue. The Hebrew name of the object is parokhet, and it appears for the first time in the description of the First Temple where it separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. Originally, the parokhet that belonged to the Synagogue furnishings in Óbuda was made by Zekil Holitsch and his wife, Bella in 1747. The decoration of the curtain has a symbolic meaning: the two twisted columns evoke the columns of the Temple while on the seven arched upper drapes pieces of the Temple furniture can be seen. The ends of the drapes remind us of the wings of the cherubs who appear on the Ark of the Covenant. For those who know the biblical texts and the Jewish commentaries, this refers to God’s direct presence because, according to tradition, the spirit of God talks to the sons of Israel from among the cherub wings. The parokhet featured in the 1896 exhibition celebrating the one thousandth anniversary of the conquest of the homeland as part of the Millennium celebrations. The Jewish ceremonial objects were presented together with the devotional objects of the other religions which there and then meant the recognition and acceptance of the Jewish religion.