A shiviti plate is based on the verse in Psalm 16:8: “I am ever mindful of the Lord’s presence…” It is traditionally placed on the eastern wall in a synagogue or private home. With its quotations of the different divine names of God and of specific biblical verses, the development of the shiviti is connected to kabbalistic meditation techniques. The depiction of the Tetragrammaton as it is seen here in the upper part – but also on the basis of the menorah, as the menorah shaped verses itself – is typical for these objects. This exceptionally decorative and elaborate shiviti was created “For the House of the Lord in Holitsch” as indicated in the upper frame. The German name refers to the city of Holíč in the northwest of Slovakia, in which Jews settled as early as the 17th century. The neo-Classical synagogue for which the Shiviti was created was demolished after World War II. The piece was not only made in honor of the Torah but, according to one of the inscriptions, also in honor of “my dear and esteemed friend Shlomo Klamtatsch, may his light shine and his dear and esteemed wife, Mrs. Dina, may she live, and all their family, may they live, and for the deceased, dear and honorable son, the reputed Isaak Klamtatsch of blessed memory, and his dear mother, may she be blessed amongst the women, Mindel, may she live, from Holitsch. May our city be built, Amen.” At the end, the artist signed his work: “This was made by my hand here in Vienna in the year 633 of the minor reckoning by me, the humble Mendel Schreiber, scribe of Torah scrolls, Tefillin and Mezuzot, ritual slaughterer and examiner, son of the learned deceased, esteemed Rav, Rabbi Itzak, the scribe, blessed be the memory of the righteous. The significant scribe of Pressburg and surroundings. May our city be built, Amen.” [FHJ]

Mendel Schreiber, Vienna, 1872/1873
Ink on paper
Height: 72 cm, width: 70 cm
ŽM-D 1246 A-1

TAUBER, Heinz Jakob: Atlantida holíčských Židů. Praha 2003.

Holíč Synagogue