Monday, March 23, 2015

At the home of the Protestant Reformation, anti-Semetic European art graces the church facade

This carving on the facade of Martin Luther’s church in Wittenberg, Germany, shows Jews suckling at a sow’s teat. . (photo credit:JTA)
GERMANY---Wittenberg, Germany is famous as the place where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg castle’s church, and where the Protestant Reformation began, but the facade of its otherwise grand Stadtkirche, the church where Luther preached, features another medieval motif known as the Judensau (Jew’s sow). This particular Judensau (1305) shows Jews suckling at the sow’s teat while another feeds at the animal’s anus. Above it appears an inscription in Latin letters, “Rabini Shem hamphoras.” The phrase is gibberish, but refers to the Hebrew words “Shem HaMephorash,” a term for one of the hidden names of God. [link]