In pictures: Blood – Jewish sex, circumcision and culture

In a provocative exhibition now open at the Jewish Museum in London, visitors are able to discover how blood has been used as a complex symbol among Jewish communities for more than 2,000 years

Using posters, ceremonial objects, and manuscripts, the exhibition reveals how over the centuries blood has influenced perceptions of sex, circumcision, and even food.

Titled ‘Blood’, the exhibition also highlights the racial discrimination Jews have faced through history, from 15th-century Spain to Nazi Germany in the 20th century.

Here, we look at some exhibition highlights… 

Circumcision knife, Germany. Early 18th century. © Jewish Museum Collection

 

Nuremberg Laws poster, 1935. © US Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

‘Circumcision of Christ’, Tucher alatarpiece. © Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen. Photo: Anne Gold Aachen

 

A card promoting blood donations in America, 1944. © Jewish Museum Collection

 

Jewish AIDS Trust poster. © Wellcome Library, London

 

Circumcision kit, 1844. © Jewish Museum Collection

 

‘The First Plague in Egypt: Rivers Turn to Blood’. © Wellcome Library, London

 

A wooden board for koshering meat by draining blood, c1955. © Jewish Museum Collection

 

Jewish AIDS Trust poster. © Wellcome Library, London

'Blood' is on show at the Jewish Museum in London until 28 February 2016. To find out more, click here.

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