In contrast to the Catholic tradition of burying people in churches and cathedrals, Jews do not bury their dead in synagogues. So why all the gravestones in this Prague synagogue?
“Sacred Fragments” is in response to my visit to Prague a few years ago and my ambivalent feelings about it’s synagogues, which only recently have been returned to the Jewish community and seem to function mainly as museums and concert venues to support the local Jewish community. These synagogues seem to be sacred fragments of what was left after the decimation of the Holocaust, and somewhat reminiscent of another set of sacred fragments brought to prominence through the movie Schindler’s list: The Jewish gravestones were taken when the cemeteries were destroyed and used as paving stones. During World War II, the Nazis attempted to not only eradicate the Jewish population from Europe but also attempted to erase any memory and trace of them.
While researching the subject I was appalled to find out that only in March 2013, the City Council of Lviv (Lvov) finally decided to stop using Jewish headstones as paving stones: They were still doing this until March 2013!
I have joined these two images in an incongruous manner to set the observer on edge.
Note: Unlike most of my other paper cuts, this piece was cut by laser. I had completed the synagogue by hand and drawn in the gravestones when I fell and broke a rib where it meets the spine. I was unable to lean over to cut, but could sit upright in a chair. So, I digitized everything and sent it to be cut by laser.
$500.00 framed plus shipping
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