Shimon Maduny Gallery Safed
|Tzfat artist who creates Jewelry and Judaica from silver, stone, wood and other elements.
Shimon Maduny’s small gallery, across from the Yosef Caro Synagogue, gives visitors the opportunity to view the hand-crafted silverwork, woodwork and stonework that combine Jewish tradition and ritual with a modern Israeli flavor.
Shimon Maduny was born in Rishon L’Tzion, the son of Moroccan immigrants who had arrived during Israel’s early years. After his army service he traveled to the Far East and studied various forms of jewelry-making and stone cutting including intricate silversmithery. Upon his return to Israel Shimon moved to Tzfat and opened a small gallery on the Yosef Caro Street in the Old City of Safed. Shimon’s works are influenced by his commitment to Jewish traditions and the mystical teachings of Kabblah.
Shimon established his gallery in 1993. He exhibits a wide variety of artwork in the gallery including his own hand-crafted jewelry, stonework, paintings and Judaica. Shimon’s gallery is open daily on the corner of the stairs that go up to the Sanz Synagogue.
Shimon’s silverwork is carefully crafted as he infuses each piece with meaning and unique symbols. He works in silver and incorporates Eliat stones and Roman Glass in many of his pieces. Other pieces have Kabbalistic meanings. Many of his pendants have Jewish and Israel symbols including flowers and plantlife of the Land of Israel, Hebrew letters, Jewish Stars and “Hamsa” -- hand signs. He also creates beaded jewelry with and without pendants.
Shimon exhibits small Judaic articles in his gallery that he himself crafts. These items include “mezuzzas” -- decorated coverings for parchments with blessings that are affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes. He makes the mezuzza coverings from wood, silver and Tzfat stone. Shimon also carves larger pieces of Judaica, including free-standing menorahs and candelabras from Tzfat stone, on a commission basis.
Shimon’s gallery also exhibits his paintings which are colorful depictions of the region’s trees, flowers and nature scenes. He also paints works of Biblical, Kabbalistic and Jewish themes.
Shimon’s small gallery made Tzfat, Israel and world history when two long-lost brothers met after more than 60 years of separation. Each brother arrived from North America with his children and grandchildren and both families chose the same day to tour Tzfat. One brother sat with Shimon outside his gallery while his grandchildren chose a few pieces of jewelry to buy. During this time, another group of youngsters entered the gallery to select some souvenirs. Both groups of children called to their grandfathers to come and pay at the same time, and as Shimon added up the sales, he noticed that the two elderly men looked alike. When he pointed this out, they looked at each other and began to cry -- they had been separated during the Holocaust and each had believed that the other had died.