Ostrich eggs as a conceptual-symbolic accessory in Jewish synagogues

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The current article discusses the origins and formation of the Jewish custom of hanging ostrich eggs in the synagogue. This habit has been more common in specific countries such as Yemen, and in cities in the land of Israel, such as Safed, Meron, and Jerusalem. The initial reason given for hanging the eggs was that they might arouse one to concentrate on prayers, as like eggs, prayers are fruitful when accompanied by concentration and true intent. This explanation is based on the “miraculous power” of the ostrich’s sense of sight, capable of warming the eggs and causing them to hatch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-83
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Jewish Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Concentrate on prayer
  • Isaac Luria
  • Jewish custom
  • Na'amit
  • Ostrich eggs
  • Safed
  • Synagogue of Gwoździec
  • Synagogues


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