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Calligraphy of Sukkot prayers and a personal inscription created by a sofer

Object | Accession Number: 1992.8.37

Welcome prayers for the festival of Sukkot (Succoth), or Feast of Tabernacles, with an inscription in honor of the birth of his son, Shalom, hand painted by Rabbi Isaac Ossowski in the fall of 1933. It was originally framed for display in their home. During the seven nights of the festival, which is similar to a harvest festival, celebrants are to build and have their meals in a succah or temporary hut built in remembrance of the forty years the Jewish people lived in the desert before reaching the Promised Land. The poster includes all the basic prayers for use inside the sukkah: the prayer for entering, a special prayer for the Sabbath in the sukkah, a prayer inviting the 7 Ushpizin, the main guests at dinner each night of Sukkot: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David, and a prayer recited upon exiting the sukkah. Rabbi Ossowski was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Berlin. He was head shochet [ritual slaughterer], mohel [practioner of ritual circumcision], sofer [scribe], and hazan [cantor or musical prayer leader] at the Alte Shul [Old Synagogue]. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, increasingly severe sanctions were enacted against Jews. The Ossowski family was repeatedly questioned by the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons) who gathered intelligence on opponents of the Nazi state and policed racial purity. In 1934, Isaac sent his youngest son, 14 year old Sol, to Lithuania to study at a yeshiva. In 1936, his sons, Joseph and Leo, left for the United States. In 1938, Isaac and his wife, Frida, and their daughter, Nettie, escaped Nazi Germany and joined Joseph in the US. Sol joined them there in 1939.

Artwork Title
Welcoming Sukkot
creation:  1933-1934
emigration:  1938
use: Berlin (Germany)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sol Oster
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:56:26
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