Mezuzah Blog

Light over Darkness

From 29th October next, temporary exhibition from the Museo dei Lumi , Casale Monferrato

The exhibition will offer the opportunity to know and appreciate Jewish culture and traditions linked to the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah and to know both its  evident and hidden meanings.

Hanukkah is a millenary religious celebration: the novelty of this temporary exhibition consists in introducing it through the lamps made by contemporary artists who created design objects telling a millenary tradition.

The time chosen to open the exhibition (29 October2020-18 January 2021) coincides with the Christmas Holidays, a time when people attention is focussed on Christian celebrations, often in a consumerism context.

The exhibition offers the visitors- citizens and tourists- an opportunity to consider and estimate different ways of experiencing this period of the year by discovering or remembering that the town hosts minorities with different traditions and faith. The improvement of such awareness will lead to turn more attention to the social sphere, increase mutual respect and favour inclusion, which in turn might keep antisemitism away.

A new reading of the millenary tradition from a contemporary point of view involves all kinds of visitors. The uniqueness of the displayed objects captivates well-informed people who can appreciate the novelty of the narration of the Hanukkah miracle; the design of the lamps attracts the attention of the less informed visitors thanks to their beauty and topicality, besides offering the opportunity for an enhanced cultural analysis.

The exhibition promotes the public dissemination of the Museum, by reaching a great number of people through the presence of the Hanukkyot in the town key places:  Palazzo della Ragione, Cortile Pensile at Palazzo Moroni, Cortile nuovo at the University, Chiostro Generale at Basilica del Santo, Salone dei Vescovi at Museo Diocesano.

The lamps we exhibit come from the extraordinary and unique collection held by The Jewish Art, History and Culture Foundation of the Museum of Lights in Casale Monferrato.

The collection was started twenty years ago and now hosts 250 Hanukkyot (Hanukkiah=a nine-branched candelabrum from the Jewish tradition) reinterpreted and donated by various great Italian and European  contemporary artists from different cultures and religions. A Hanukkiah  can have different forms but it is always made of 8 lights plus one : the ninth holder -the Shammash- – “servant” is used  to light all  the others. Many of the lamps have already been exhibited at important cultural events both in Italy and in Europe.

20 lamps will be exhibited in Padua to represent metaphorically the importance of lights in the darkest period of the year and in  the extremely difficult days we are facing  because of the pandemics.

Various events, particularly interreligious ones, will be connected to the exhibition.

The exhibition will take place from October 29th 2020 to 18th January 2021 at the Jewish  Heritage Museum of Padova, via delle Piazze 26 .

 Opening Times:

Sundays: from 10am to 6pm by the entrance ticket to the Museum and Synagogue:

Saturday evenings: From 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, guided tour to the exhibition .Booking required (8 participants minimum)

Opening will be possible, on request, at other times and on other days- excluding Saturday.

Admission charges : the same to visit the Museum and Synagogue which are included in the ticket


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