Part of EJC's Storytelling Crypto-Judaism Week!
Tarot cards have played a role influencing people for centuries. They elicit fascination, obsession, and investigation. Author and scholar Stav Appel comes to Portland in November to share his compelling presentation on how the cards' imagery and design, starting with the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille created in France circa 1650, are consistently embedded with Hebrew letters, Judaic ritual objects, Torah stories, and Jewish holy days. He writes, "...the presence of Judaica in the cards suggests they may have been used as a tool for clandestine Jewish continuity." Mr. Appel provides a historical context for why the (unknown) artist(s) chose to introduce the Noblet deck at the end of the 17th century: " (at that time) the presence of Jews remained entirely forbidden in Spain, France, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Bavaria, the New World, and numerous other territories and city-states...Many began to openly question whether the Jewish faith would continue to exist at all." The Jean Noblet cards appear at this same time. Stav Appel writes, "Recognizing a Judaic presence in the cards calls for a refreshed understanding of the history of Tarot and its longtime association with Occult Kabbalah."
Sponsor: Eastside Jewish Commons