1887, restored 1986-2007, 2009
Carved and painted wood with gilding
Above the ark at Eldridge Street, at the center of a large circular
panel ringed with old-fashioned light bulbs, hang wooden tablets on
which the Ten Commandments have been inscribed in Hebrew. Their presence
in such a prominent location signifies the importance of the Ten
Commandments as the word of God and as the moral foundation of Judiasm.
When the restoration of the synagogue was completed in 2007, the
left-hand tablet was missing and was replaced with a facsimile. During
the summer of 2009, as the Museum’s collection was being cataloged, the
missing tablet was found. Like its mate, the paint on the tablet was
peeling, its writing barely legible. Evergreene Studios, which restored
all the painted surfaces in the synagogue, graciously restored the
panels as their gift to the Museum, and they were reinstalled above the
ark in time for the High Holidays.