Galgal. Elements of Creation in Motion

Computer-Animated Presentation of Ornamental-Figurative Micrography
Taken from Medieval Bible Manuscripts and Displayed in a Cultic Space

– Eckhard Westermeier, Hanna Liss and Team –

July 11th – October 31st, 2017

Opening Ceremony on July 10th, 2017

Multimedia Exhibition in the Synagogue of Worms
about an almost forgotten Jewish Scribal Tradition:

But the Masoretes weren’t only concerned with settling pronunciation and meaning; their Masoretic text was also supposed to help prevent copying mistakes by providing additional information in the margins. In particular, their commentaries contain statistical data on how often words appear in a particular way. Over time, these arrangements developed into true art. Such ornamental-figurative micrographs are not merely shown in this exhibition, but generated using multimedia technology.

The micrographic text of the masora figurata is mostly shaped into zoomorphic (later also anthropomorphic) figures (dogs, horses, rabbits, gazelles, birds, dragons or other fantastic animals), or arranged into floral shapes. At first glance, they call to mind the drolleries that appear as ornamentation in Gothic manuscripts, in architecture and sculpture. These drolleries are simultaneously concrete and abstract; they strike the viewer as hideous and demoniacal. The drawings are constrained by their being constructed out of letters, but are nonetheless often able to convey an impressive sense of motion: animals jump or writhe, interlaced patterns lead up- or downwards or appear to twine around themselves.

Examples from various medieval manuscripts of the Jewish Bible will be on display until the end of October.

On July 10th, 2017, the multimedia exhibition »GALGAL. Elements of Creation in Motion« will launch in the synagogue of Worms. Until October 31st, 2017, this exhibition will let the public enjoy select micrographic images taken from Western European Bible manuscripts from the 12th-14th centuries. With the help of computer animation and projectors to "throw" the resulting images against the walls of the synagogue, the Jewish Bible is placed in its Jewish-cultic context in an unexpected way. Jewish (manuscript) culture will be given a new voice to express itself and approach and move the visitor. 21st century technology lets visitors experience a forgotten world of the Jewish Middle Ages.

The exhibition was developed by the Chair for Bible and Jewish Bible Exegesis, currently held by Prof. Dr. Hanna Liss (Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg / University of Heidelberg), as a sub-project of the University of Heidelberg’s Collaborative Research Centre 933, in cooperation with Berlin artist Prof. Eckhard Westermeier.


The micrographic images (masora figurata) that are showcased in this program originate with Jewish Hebrew manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Masora is first and foremost a commentary on the biblical text, written in the margins. In antiquity, the biblical text was transmitted in purely consonantal form, and it was only in the Middle Ages that the Masoretes, as they were known, established a system of signs to indicate vowels, emphasis and cantillation.

Multimedia Exhibition in the Synagogue of Worms:

Jewish Bible Manuscripts presented via Computer Animation

BIMA. Biblical Masora Database

A Project of the Chair for Bible and Jewish Bible Exegesis, Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Hanna Liss / Clemens Liedtke M.A. / Dr. Kay Joe Petzold

Additional information, pictures and select animations are available at (Registration Required).

Information about the Exhibition

Guided Tours

Worms Synagogue


(in der Judengasse)

67547 Worms







Visiting Hours

July 11th – October 31st, 2017

daily 10 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4 pm

(except on Saturdays and Jewish Holidays)


Jewish Holidays

Roch Hashanah, September, 21th -22nd, 2017

Yom Kippur, September, 30th, 2017

Sukkot, October, 5th - 11th, 2017

Simchat Torah, October, 12th - 13th, 2017


Scheduled Guided Tours
(at 11 am and 3 pm; in English or German)


August, 1st

August, 8th

August, 15th

August, 22nd

August, 29th

August, 31st


September, 5th

September, 7th

September, 12th

September, 14th

September, 19th

September, 26th


October, 10th

October, 17th

October, 19th

October, 26th







Guided Tours for Groups

Additional Guided Tours for Groups

can be arranged

(please contact




Worms Synagogue

Jewish Community Mainz-Worms

Jewish Museum Worms Rashi House

City of Worms

University of Heidelberg

Jewish Culture Days in Worms

ShUM-Cities on the Rhine

Warmaisa e.V.

Matthias Kraus, Artist

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Press Information

For Press Information please contact


Jonas Leipziger M.A.

Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg





  • High-definition Pictures and Videos
    Please click on the downloadable files to the right.

Abraham Berliner Center

Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg


Landfriedstraße 12

69117 Heidelberg, Germany


T +49 6221 54 192 -46

F +49 6221 54 192 -09

© Fotos, Graphics and Videos: Prof. Eckhard Westermeier / Jonas Leipziger M.A. / Clemens Liedtke M.A.

Website: Jonas Leipziger M.A.



© Copyright Manuscripts:


MS Erfurt 1,  © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - PK

Online , CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE:


MS Vat.ebr.14, © Vatican Library

Online :


MS London, British Library, Or. 2091, © British Library

Online :

Galgal. Elements of Creation in Motion

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