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

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

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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

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