Chad Gadya, Terracotta Passover Scene by Ze'ev Raban, Bezalel School Jerusalem
Ze’ev Raban plaster -plaque made in Bezalel School, Jerusalem This image is of the “father who bought the goat for two zuzim”. Designed by Ze’ev Raban, made circa 1915-1920. Signed with the Hebrew initials “Z.R.”. This plaque depicts a scene from Chad Gadya, a rhyme sung during the Passover seder, which tells the story of a small goat. Originally intended to amuse the children at the seder table, the song has been interpreted as an allegory for the persecution of the Jews and G-d’s ultimate redemptive power. Since arriving at the Bezalel School in 1912 as a teacher and designer, Ze’ev Raban focused more intensely on some parts of ancient Jewish history as opposed to others. Along with perhaps his famous work, the numerous illustrations he created for “The Song of Solomon”, are the illustrations he created for Chad Gadya. In 1926, the Bezalel School produced a slim pamphlet of Chad Gadya, which features this rhyme accompanied by Raban’s illustrations. This highly detailed plaque is a wonderful representation of a subject that Raban was quite passionate about. Provenance: Estate of the late philanthropist Stanley Batkin (1914–2015).
Exhibited: Yeshiva University Museum, December 1982–June 1983.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all manner of workmanship - to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts." (Exodus 31, 1-5).
Established in 1906 by artist Boris Schatz as the “Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts”, Bezalel has evolved into one of the world's most prestigious art schools.
The name Bezalel is synonymous with more than 100 years of Israeli art, innovation and academic excellence. Bezalel’s unique strength stems from the numerous breakthroughs it has been responsible for and its ability to respond and adapt to cultural changes. It takes pride in its numerous generations of graduates, the spearhead of Israeli artists, designers and architects, in Israel and around the globe.
The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is, first and foremost, a group of talented, inspired and motivated artists and professionals. Both faculty and students are driven by a passion to create and by their dedication to quality and excellence.
These two pillars of the Academy have placed Bezalel at the epicenter of Israel’s cultural discourse and at the forefront of its artistic scene, making it instrumental in shaping the country’s cultural identity.