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The life cycle
The lives of Jewish people are marked by episodes designed to comply with divine commandments and the precepts of the law. Various documentary and pictorial items illustrate these episodes, including the marriage ceremony, the rituals of purification and the reading of the Scroll of Esther at the synagogue.
Ink on parchment, 19th century, Morocco (collection of Uriel Macías). The Scroll contains the story of Esther, the Jewish heroine who saved her people from annihilation at the hands of the evil Haman, the adviser of King Ahasuerus of Persia. Esther, who was the King's favourite, pleaded with the monarch for the fate of her kin. Her heroic act is commemorated at the Festival of Purim at the beginning of Spring each year.
Ink on parchment, 1377, Castelló d'Empúries (Historical Archives of Girona). To formalize a marriage agreement, a contract that established the bride's rights concerning her dowry and family life. This ketubbah pertains to the marriage of David, son of Meshulam de Gallac, and Astruga, daughter of Abraham ben Jucef, both living in the town of Castelló d'Empúries.