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    This rare Irish silver memorial lamp with the makers mark J.S. Dublin 1891 sold for $25,200 at Sotheby’s sale of the Halpern Judaica Collection in New York this month. It recalls a largely forgottenn 17th century Jewish population in Dublin which disintegrated in 1791. After the community in London this was the second oldest in Ireland and Britain. In the second half of the seventeenth century, a Jewish community established itself in Dublin. A small synagogue in Crane Lane gave way to larger premises in Marlborough Green in the mid-eighteenth century, but, due to a variety of causes, the congregation disintegrated about 1791, and its furnishings and Torah scrolls were moved to other sites. In 1822, following the arrival of a group of Ashkenazic immigrants, a new congregation formed in Stafford Street that, with time, would come to be called the Dublin Hebrew Congregation. As immigration from Eastern Europe increased later in the century, a number of smaller synagogues sprang up in the South Circular Road-Clanbrassil Street area of Dublin, which became known as “Little Jerusalem.” One of these existed from 1891 to 1895 in Heytesbury Street. It may be this synagogue to which the present Eternal Lamp belonged.

    The lamp is engraved around the rim in Hebrew: “In eternal memory of the members of our community here in Dublin, may its Rock and Redeemer protect it, for from the year [5]552 [1791], when the synagogue was closed, nothing was done for their souls, and now, after the passage of one hundred years, the members of the community donated money to light the memorial lamp in their memory. May their souls be bound up in the Bond of Life. The eve of Rosh Hashanah [5]652 [1891].” The names of the Twelve Tribes are in the medallions.

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