Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Blissful Beds

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

Most of us don’t give much thought to our beds — it’s just the place where we get tucked in every night. But the Mishnah itself (Succah 1:3) spends time analyzing different kinds of beds —to determine whether it was problematic to have that kind of bed in a succah. The different kinds of beds that were found in every time and place are quite amazing: from nothing more than a deep pile of straw to beds that float off the ground. Read on ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Short History of Beds

Who invented the first bed? No one really knows for sure, but the earliest “bed-like” object that historians have discovered is a wooden board raised off the ground, which the Ancient Egyptians used thousands of years ago. King Tutankhamen even had a bed made of ebony and gold, covered with linen sheets! But it was only rich and powerful Pharaohs who slept like that — in Europe, even the rich and powerful were still sleeping on piles of straw.

During the time of the Roman Empire too, many rich people had luxurious beds. By now, the beds were usually made of iron rather than wood, and they were often decorated with gold, silver, or bronze. Mattresses were used, stuffed with reeds, hay, or feathers. By the sixteenth century, mattresses were stuffed with feathers or straw, and then covered with heavy fabrics — expensive velvets if you were rich, plain sackcloth if not.

In the seventeenth century, beds were commonly made of an iron frame with a lattice of ropes. The tighter these ropes were, the firmer the mattress — and so, the better the sleep. In fact, some say that’s why we say “sleep tight!”

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you