Decorated Kiddush Cups
The bible mentions that Noah planted a vineyard on Mount Ararat after the great flood, and later drank the wine he made from it. However, the origins of wine go back even further than this. In ancient civilizations wine was appreciated as more nutritious and safer than the often-contaminated water supply.
In the contemporary world of secular wine drinking, wine lovers mostly prefer unadorned transparent wine glasses so that the beauty, colour and texture of the wine is visible. It is quite acceptable however, to drink wine for religious purposes from a decorated cup. This was the inspiration to invite a group of Jewish youth to paint images of Judaica on ceramic goblets to produce a display for the Museum.
The kiddush cups were painted by the children present at the Habonim meeting on the 25th August 2002.
The drinking of wine is an integral aspect of Jewish ritual and almost every ceremony involves drinking it. Wine is regarded as sacred and drinking it constitutes a religious act. One traditionally recites a prayer (kiddush) to make the wine holy before it is consumed. In a wedding ceremony for instance, blessings of betrothal are recited followed by a sip from the 1st cup of wine and the ceremony is concluded with reciting of the seven wedding blessings and a sip from the 2nd cup of wine. The Passover ritual stipulates the drinking of four cups of wine. For a circumcision, one cup must be consumed. At the feast of Purim, it is customary to drink enough wine to become intoxicated.
The children were encouraged to paint any scene from the religion or any story of Jewish life. Even though some have used stereotypical imagery associated with the religion, the designs have been executed in a bold and striking manner. There are many charming scenes, such as the bridegroom stamping on a glass and Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Lauren’s cup; Emma, Jeremy and Georgie’s Shabbat table scenes laden with challah and wine; the novel cartoon character on Alex’s cup; Michal’s scene of a couple in love reflecting a teenagers interests; the spontaneous and expressive design on May’s cup; Jarron’s carefully painted pattern of dots reminiscent of Aboriginal design; the simplicity of Liat’s Rosh Hashanah design, etc. The beauty of all the items lies in the variety of styles reflecting, one would imagine, the personalities of the painters.
Wine is also an integral part of the weekly Sabbath ceremony, and it is therefore not surprising that some of the children have drawn upon images of Shabbat when decorating their cups. The Star of David and Chanukah menorah are other images consistently used by the children, pointing to their powerful status as a symbol for both Israel and Judaism. The frequent use of the grape bunch is understandable considering that it is the primary ingredient of wine making.
May & Jarron
Liat & Emma
Lauren & Helena
Jeremy & Reuben
Jenna & Claudie
Ilana & Michal
Esther & Elly
Eitan & Alex
Ilana & Michal