"Mizrah" Papercut for a Succah - Litin, Ukraine - 1858

Picture reproduced here by permission of the
Sir Isaac & Lady Edith Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art,
Hechal Shlomo, Jerusalem, Israel.

"Mizrah" Papercut for a Succah
Litin Ukraine, 1858
35 cm X 42 cm
The Art of the Jewish Paper-Cut p. 59, Giza Frankel
Photo © Hechal Shlomo, The Sir Isaac & Lady Edith Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art, Jerusalem
Often "Mizrach" decorations (Taken from the hebrew word 'east') were used to decorate Succahs and were hung on the eastern wall to mark the direction of Jerusalem. This papercut is divided into three strips.
The houses in the top strip symbolize Jerusalem the Holy city.
The tigers in the strip have human faces -
expressing some concept, or possibly the
fruit of the imagination of a yeshivah student, that had never seen tigers in his life.
On both sides of the center strip, there is a pair of
columns that symbolize Yachin and Boaz, the two
main columns of the Holy Temple.
Situated in the heart of this strip, between the
two deer, is a medallion
and on it is inscribed "From this side the spirt of life".
In the center of the bottom strip is a candelabra,
with the 67th psalm inscribed on it.
On both sides of the candelabra are lions.
" Alas courageous as a tiger" and ... appear on the medallions found on each side of the strips and
pertain to the animals described there, except for the image "light as an eagle", that is inscribed on the two-headed eagle on the upper most strip.
This papercut is part of the collection of the late Heshel Golinnzki. It is assumed that the name of the creator is the name written on it, "Yehosuha Alter Akibas, when he reached the age of mizvot".