The tiles that we find scattered through the streets of the Jewish quarter of Toledo mean the word life in Hebrew, the symbol of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters ” Sefarad” and the seven-armed candlestick or Menorah.
In 2012 a series of actions promoted from the City Council sought to enhance the Jewish quarter of Toledo. Among these actions that included Culturel activities, concerts, etc., three types of tiles with the word life, the symbol of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters and the Menorah were designed and placed in different points. We tell you what they symbolize and where to find them. There are more than 500 in the floor of the Jewry.
The tiles show three different logos:
- The word ” life” (Jai) written in Hebrew.
- The symbol of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, reminiscent of a map of the Iberian Peninsula.
- The symbol of the Menorah, the seven-armed candelabra.
The plaques were placed in the summer of 2012 in strategic places so that the ” visitor can situate himself and locate geographically where he is” , also signaling the perimeter limits of the Jewish quarter, its emblematic places and the main monuments.
Tile in Toledo Jewish Quarter with the Hebrew word ” jai” .
The symbol of the Hebrew word Jai (life) has great significance for Judaism because it focuses so much on life. On the other hand, it has no special religious significance and usually serves as an ornament and even an amulet. It is composed in Hebrew with the characters Jet Yod.
Tile with the logo of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters in Toledo
Sepharad. Symbol of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters
The profile of the Iberian Peninsula, formed with the word Sefarad in Hebrew. The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters is a non-profit public association whose objective is the defence of the urban, architectural, historical, artistic and Culturel heritage of the Sephardic legacy in Spain.
What is Sepharad? Read this article.
Tile with seven-armed candelabra or Menorah in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo
The Menorah (in Hebrew: מנורה, lit. ” lamp” ) or the Candelabra of the Seven Arms: in Jewish tradition, it is one of the essential ritual elements of Judaism and one of its most ancient symbols. The Menorah is symbolic of the spirit of Yaveh. Its light symbolizes the presence of God among men, although it also represents the burning bush that Moses saw in the desert. Tradition has it that the original Menorah was in the Temple of Jerusalem.
In the sacking of Solomon’s Second Temple in 70 A.D., the Romans took the Menorah to Rome as a war trophy, a fact that bears witness to the bas-relief of the Arch of Titus, built in Rome in 82.
The Menorah, which decorated the synagogues, has become, with the passage of time, the official emblem of the State of Israel.
Access to the Jewish Quarter of Toledo in Calle Santo Tomé
The boundaries of Toledo’s Jewish quarter are also marked by LED signs projected on the pavement, visible only at night.
LED illumination marking the limits of the Jewish Quarter of Toledo
You don’t have to try to ” pull out” and take one of these tiles as a souvenir. In many souvenir shops they are sold for a very economic price and with a magnet for you to add one more to the door of your fridge at home.
In Visitas Guiadas Toledo we tell you, through the streets, these and many other curiosities of the city of the Three Cultures. More information here: Guided tours of Toledo.
- The Toledo Tribune.
- Toledo City Council.
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