Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gelt, then and now

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During the week of Chanuka kids are given some coins as a gift.
Chanuka gelt (Yiddish for money) became a tradition in 17th century Poland.
Nowadays little pouches of foil-covered chocolate "coins" are welcome, too.

These coins are on display at the Jewish Art Museum in Hechal Shlomo in Jerusalem.
Fourteen gold coins were in the pomegranate jar discovered in the stones of the Holy Ark of the 6th century synagogue Dir Aziz in the Golan.

That is the emperor Justinian I on the Byzantine-era coins (I think).
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Sure wish I could give this little treasure to my grandkids as Chanuka gelt!
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16 comments:

Vagabonde said...

Dina it is always such a pleasure to read your posts as they are so full of wonderful anecdotes and history. I learn so much. Have a nice evening.

Strawberry Girl said...

What interesting artifacts, thank you for sharing this.

Reader Wil said...

Very interesting,Dina! The thing is what you call "gelt"is probably the same word as our Dutch word for money, which is "geld". We give children chocolate coins at St. Nicholas'Eve. The gold coins are a very special find of course.

FA said...

Dina, I love how you intertwine the religious, traditional, archeological, cultural, and historical aspects in to one post. Bravo!

Eki said...

The tradition sounds like what we do here at Lebaran (Aid al Fitr) here.

THose coins are really marvellous, Dina.

Jew Wishes said...

How absolutely fascinating to look at the gelt, amazing.

jedaen said...

have a beautiful day Dina.

I'm sure your kids are like all kids and would prefer the chocolate coins to any valuable ancient coin ha ha.

Petrea said...

Aren't they beautiful? Wow.

My friend bought imported gelt (the chocolate kind), made to look like coins from Israel. She hid it from herself so she wouldn't eat it all before Chanukah. She hid it so well that when the time came to give it to her grandkids, she couldn't find it!

JC said...

Grandkids would probably like gold foil covered chocolate better. HA!!! Thanks for sharing that info, I love learning from you. Sorry, I've been away so long. Thanks for leaving me comments. It makes me smile to see a comment from you.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Since men had to pockets or purses in those days and the women were not entrusted to carry money, I would think a metal detector would be worth its weight in gold to sell to tourists looking for lost coins.

Nathalie said...

Dear Dina, sorry for not visiting daily but I really enjoyed browsing through your latest posts. The ultra-good ultrasound news made me jump with joy ! I loved the olive oil post as well as the ultra-long bench.

Thank you also for answering me regarding your personal history regarding the places you sometimes long for. It must be hard to have your grand children so far away. My own children are only 22, 22 and 16 but with their international upbringing I fear they too will choose to live far away....

And Nathalie again said...

We too have fake coins made of chocolate and covered in golden wraps. Kids love them. Aren't they fun?
(ours are euros of course :-)))

Nathalie encore said...

And happy Chanuka to you!

RuneE said...

I agree - A Justinian original would have been nice, but I'll settle for a chocolate one, too. :-)

PS Thank you for the comment, but a Flash would have destroyed the atmosphere completely...

Kay said...

I don't see as much of the chocolate gelt here in Hawaii as I did in Hawaii. I sure did like that part of the Jewish tradition.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

When your in the super market line they keep those chocolate bags of coins on the temptation shelf your forced to pass by. Never knew they came out of a jewish tradition.