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6 Ceremonial Hall

Ceremonial Hall

Jewish Customs and Traditions
Part II: Ways of Life

The Ceremonial Hall of the Burial Society houses theBurial Society Beaker. Faience, Prague, 1798. (Donated by Hirsch Brandes to the Prague Burial Society) concluding section of part two of the exhibition “The Course of Life”. The main theme is that of illness and death. Individual topics are accompanied by examples from the unique series of Prague Burial Society paintings from the 1880s. The main hall features descriptions and illustrations of assistance provided by the Society to the ill and the dying, ritual washing of the dead, and the burial ceremony. Exhibits worthy of particular note include a pitcher belonging to the Mikulov Burial Society, a number of illuminated manuscripts, and a collection of silver alms boxes. In the next room, focus is placed on Jewish cemeteries and tombstones - exhibits include fragments of tombstones from the 14th century and a wooden tomb structure from 1836. Another room is devoted to memorial prayers for the dead and engravings and paintings depicting the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague. The upper-floor room focuses on burial society organization, domestic life and public representation. Noteworthy exhibits include portraits of representatives, a parchment document of the statutes from 1759, a ballot box and beakers used during the annual celebrations of the Burial Society.

Anonymous Artist, Washing the Body. Oil on canvas, Prague, 1780s. (From the cycle of Prague Burial Society paintings)

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