* The Sabbath oil lamp dedicated in 1763 to the synagogue of the small German town of Pfersee was made by a Christian silversmith from nearby Augsburg. This type of lamp, known in German as a Judenstern ("Jewish Star"), has oil fonts which are in fact arranged in the form of a star. All the parts - the star, the oil drip pan below, and the hanging device above - are repousse. The hanging device consists of spherical knobs, with chased twisted scrolls and with cast child-like images (putti) seated on railings.
* Each putto holds swags of flowers and leaves in its hands. The lamp's components are designed in such a way that the flames are reflected from the gleaming surface and multiplied. The Judenstern lamps were cast in brass over a period of hundreds of years, most often in Germany. They would typically include a long hook in the shape of a serrated knife.
* Menachos, 28b. 2 Bamidbar 8:2. 3 According to this view, the Menora appeared similar to the Judenstern, (literally, "star of the Jews") a circular lamp in the shape of star, which typically had six or seven lamps. Centuries ago, Jews had the custom to suspend a Judenstern from the ceiling, and light it for Shabbos. Hundreds of these lamps still exist in museums, and in Judaica collections around the world.
* The lamp is typical of German Shabbat lamps, which evolved from an old type of star-shaped domestic oil lamp used in medieval Europe by both Jews and non-Jews. In Jewish homes, the lamp was lit at the start of Shabbat to provide light over the holiday. The lamp developed into a ritual object when this purpose became obsolete. Around the sixteenth century, this form of lamp became known by its German name Judenstern, or Jewish Star.
Rare Antique Sabath Candlesticks, Candelabra, and Candleholders
* Rare Antique Germany Hanging Sabbath Lamp "Judenstern" 6 pointed brass star with florets - complete with ratchet hanger, drip pan and oil runners. $3000.00 SOLD
Art and Material Culture of Judaism—Medieval through Modern Times ...
* Seder scenes in both Ashkenazic and Sephardic haggadot commonly show a star-shaped hanging lamp above the festive table. The form was in general use in medieval Europe, but was eventually superseded by other forms of lighting. Among Jews, however, the lamp became a traditional type so that, by the sixteenth century, it became known among German goldsmiths as a Judenstern. The star-shaped hanging lamp was utilized by central- and east-European Jews for Sabbaths and holy days into the twentieth century. One medieval survivor of Jewish ownership was found in Deutz. Made of bronze, its faceted form indicates a date in the first half of the fourteenth century.
* Because Judaism is a home-centered religion as well as one focused on the synagogue, many significant ceremonial objects were created for domestic use. There are, first of all, those known from the Middle Ages, like the Judenstern, whose kindling marked the onset of the Sabbath. The star-shaped lamp remained traditional for Sabbaths and holy days in Germany and eastern Europe, although many used candlesticks and candelabra after wax candles came into widespread use.
* The ner tamid, (eternal light) originally came from 19th century Germany. In Germany, this type of lamp was called a judenstern, or Jewish star, because it cast a star-shaped shadow. A Jewish family would lower the lamp on Friday night and use it as the Sabbath light. Originally an oil lamp, it was later electrified and first brought to Temple Israel in the 1950s.