The Mask Grogger
2000, sterling silver.
Width 20cm, Length 24cm
Signed by the artist
It is customary on Purim for the Jewish people to disguise themselves and put on
masks and costumes. As in a masquerade, wherein only the exterior is changed,
but the inner self is concealed, so too the Jews in Persia, who kneeled before the
idols of Haman in deference to the royal decree only paid an external homage
which did not reveal their true inner feelings.
There are various noise-makers used in the synagogue on Purim, used whenever
the name Haman is mentioned. In ancient times, these used to be flat stones or
wooden paddles, on which the word “Haman” was inscribed; by pounding them
together the name would be erased. The source of this custom is in the Biblical
verse: “For I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the
heavens” (Exodus 17:14). Haman’s ancestors were Amalekites.
The artist has combined these two concepts and made a unique grogger in which
a sterling silver mask is formed out of a flat sheet of silver. The grogger is made
using the ancient technique of hammering with different chisels. The silver handle
of the mask is adorned with a floral crown. The stem of the handle has a silver
hoop with colorful tassels.
Each work is signed by the artist and is one of a kind.