The month of Nissan is without a doubt the month most associated with spring, the season of natural renewal, flowering, fertility and abundance. Artistic reference to nature has existed since the dawn of history, beautiful examples of plant paintings can be seen already in the Cyclades, ancient Egypt and ancient cultures in Africa, America and Asia.
The motif of the plant decoration in Judaism, was first seen in the instructions for the preparation of the temple lamp, and the commandment to make it "a button and a flower" (Exodus 26: 3). The plant motif is common in Italian art in general, and in the art of Italian Jews in particular. What undoubtedly contributed to the distribution of the motif, apart from its positive symbolic meanings, is the fact that its use is also possible under the school that denies painting and sculpting figurative signs due to the second commandment "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness" (Exodus, c, c). Therefore, it is not surprising to see the blossoming of this motif in the various relics: shrines, crowns for Torah scrolls, arks, manuscripts and more.
Among the items in the museum's collection that boast ornamental flowers, a copper plate made of copper (Piedmont, 17th century) was donated to the museum by Giuseppe Vitala HaCohen (ON 0024). The plate, decorated with many decorations and can be identified as unique to Seder night thanks to the inscription "Kadesh" in the center, and the details of the Pesach Seder that appears below: The rim of the bowl is decorated with medallions containing two biblical scenes of the binding of Isaac and Solomon, as well as the figures of Moses, Aaron and David. , And yet for most of us, the fruit is actually related to Rosh Hashanah. To practice compared to the sacrifices that were customary in the Temple.
Another example of the plant motif in the context of Passover can be seen in four beautiful conversion pillows for Seder night that originated in Venice of the late 18th century (ON 1278). The mitzvah of conversion on Seder night was corrected by sages while drinking the four glasses of wine and eating the matzah, the wrapper and the afikoman. The conversion is an action in which the participants of the seder turn to the left, as the nobles and royalty used to do in the past, in this way the participant of the seder sees himself as a free man and as if he himself left Egypt.
The cushions in the museum collection were sewn from white silk embroidered with colorful silk threads. The pillow decorations include a combination of types of flowers, bees and birds on blooming branches and in the center of the pillow is embroidered a doe. It is possible that the guideline of the pillow decoration is borrowed from the Song of Songs, which is customarily read on Seder night. The Song of Songs, which deals with the complex relationship between the wife and David, describes the animal and plant world and for most Israeli communities is a parable of the relationship between the Knesset of Israel and God. "I have sworn to you, O daughters of Jerusalem, in the armies or in the deer of the field, if you will awaken and if you awaken love until the morning."