5 November 2015 – 28 February 2016
Exploring the provocative theme of blood in Jewish religion, culture and history.
This exhibition of paintings, manuscripts, ceremonial objects and other items of cultural ephemera reflects on the role of blood in Jewish life over the past 2,000 years. It explores its practical application in rituals surrounding food, sex and circumcision, as well as its powerful metaphorical value and the ability this has to both unite and divide Jewish people with other cultural groups.
Areas of focus include blood libel – allegations that emerged in medieval Europe that Jews murdered Christian children and stole their blood – the use of blood testing for classification of racial purity and genetic research into AIDs and other 'Jewish' diseases.
Key to the exhibition is an investigation into how the relationship between Judaism and Christianity has centred around blood. Medieval iconography implicating Jews in the shedding of Jesus’ blood at both circumcision and crucifixion is shown alongside Jewish Passover illustrations showing rivers of blood from the ten plagues.