My Persian Carpet: A Family and Cultural Legacy

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Daniel E. Sachs


Life is full of and driven by symbols of all kinds. There is almost an unlimited number of visual symbols throughout the world used by countless cultures to represent them, their rituals, their beliefs, their connection to the world and to each other. One way that Jews maintained contact with each other over the centuries, without inviting unwanted suspicion, was sending non-verbal messages via common objects laced within the material culture of their adopted homes. It is well known that Jews, since the year 70 CE, have sojourned, to use the Biblical term, in countries where they were considered outsiders, or what today we would call “the other.” They were people without a land of their own and dispersed to every country and in almost every region on Earth, either voluntarily or under duress. Jews have always found a subtle “secret” way of communicating with each other even at a distance, perhaps just to say that “you are not alone” or even more specific messages that have yet to be unraveled and revealed. It is my wish to attempt such a revelation here with a single object, a turn-of-the-century Jewish Persian carpet with which I am personally familiar.

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How to Cite
Sachs, D. (2019). My Persian Carpet: A Family and Cultural Legacy. Humanities Bulletin, 2(1), 273-285. Retrieved from