Making a Space for God

How the 14th-century creators of an illustrated Pentateuch managed to reflect both the Jewish and the Christian worlds they lived in.

From the title page of the Duke of Sussex German Pentateuch, ca. 1300. British Library.

From the title page of the Duke of Sussex German Pentateuch, ca. 1300. British Library.

Observation
June 4 2019
About the author

Marc Michael Epstein is professor of religion and visual culture and director of Jewish studies at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination (2011) and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts (2015).


Every year, the Torah portion of B’midbar (“In the Desert”)—the first reading in the biblical book known in English as Numbers—coincides roughly with the festival of Shavuot (“Weeks”), celebrated this year on next Sunday and (in the diaspora) Monday, and traditionally referred to as “the time of the giving of our Torah.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: German Jewry, Middle Ages, Religion & Holidays