Early 20th Century Indian Brass Shabbat Hanging Lamp
Brass Shabbat lamp, India, early 20th century. A circular Shabbat lamp, with seven spaces for hanging small oil cups. The lamp is suspended with three rods, with loops at their ends that connect to hooks at the base of the lamp. "Until less than a hundred years ago, Cochin Jews still had the custom of celebrating the inauguration of the Shabbat by lighting stone lamps at the entrance to their homes. The synagogue beadle would go from house to house lighting the lamp with a torch kindled from the "Ner Tamid" that hung before the ark. Simultaneously women would kindle the Shabbat lamp. The lamp... was suspended from the ceiling and had seven oil cups around a metal ring" Literature: Orpa Slapak (editor), "The Jews of India - Bene-Israel, Cochin Jews, Baghdadi Jews", The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1995, pp. 84-85.