Tag Archives: Temple

Va Yak’hel

Inspired Va Yikahel sig

“Inspired Workmanship” by Laya Crust

In the previous Torah reading, “Ki Tissa”, we read about the sin of “the golden calf”. Just to remind you, Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God and bring them down to the Israelites below.  When Moses didn’t arrive at the expected time the nation grew worried and anxious, fearing that something bad had happened. They demanded a god, an idol,  to pray to. Breaking off their jewellery they fashioned a golden calf. The nation was punished by God. The golden calf was destroyed and three thousand men were killed.

In this week’s Torah reading Moshe invited all the people, whoever was generous of heart, ” נדיב לבו“, to bring forward gold, silver, brass, dyed linen and goats’ hair, wood, oil, spices, and precious gems. All these materials would be used to craft holy objects for the mishkan. The items to be crafted were listed and described, and  the people came forward with all that had been requested. The magnificence is described close on the heels of the sin of fashioning the golden calf. 

Wasn’t it contradictory- to punish the people for creating a golden calf but then command them to make expensive objects to be used in religious observance? The Israelites loved ornamentation and beauty. They gave their gold and precious jewelry to Aaron to make an idol to replace the absent Moshe. The answer to this seeming contradiction is in the wording.

Phrases like “wise hearted”  and “willing of heart” appear 15 times in this parsha. Only individuals who were wise hearted and generous could see past the expense and glitter of the materials through to the purpose of  prayer and service to God.  Those who are wise and generous can understand and facilitate elevation of spirit.

Beauty feeds the soul and God understood- and understands this. This parsha acknowledges the need the Israelites had for something beautiful and tangible to help them find comfort and help the on their journey.

Image result for 1299, Perpignan manuscript illumination

1299, Perpignan

Bezalel was chosen to be head architect and designer. He was filled with the spirit of God, with creativity, with understanding and with the knowledge of all kinds of craft. His aide, Oholiab, was also filled with wisdom of heart. Men and women were all invited to contribute and participate in the building of the mishkan and all the objects within it as long as they were generous of heart.

The value God places on creativity is the theme of my illustrationThe vessels are the brass pieces used in the mishkan. The painting is based on a  beautiful and timeless illumination from 1299, Perpignan, Aragon.  The two quotations are from the parsha:  “Take from among you an offering of the Lord, whoever is of a willing heart let them bring it…” (35:5)     “And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing of heart.” (35:22) The sparkling watercolour wash behind the quotations represents imagination and spirituality.

So, artists, artisans, wood workers, poets, musicians, playwrights, weavers, silversmiths,  authors, painters, dancers, photographers and potters, when you work with integrity and inspiration remember that it is God’s gift to you. This is your contribution to the spiritual beauty of the world.

Have Shabbat Shalom- one full of beauty and joy and of course – creative thinking. Hoping for peace and equality in the world,

Laya

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Temple Visions

Titzavehart by Laya Crust

Tetzaveh

Haftarah: Ezekiel 43: 10 – 27

Ezekiel, the son of a Cohen, was among the 8,000 Jews to be exiled to Babylon in 597 BCE.

In the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 40, Ezekiel writes that he is carried by Gd to the land of Israel. He is set on top of a very high mountain where he sees something like the structure of a city. A man, seemingly made of brass, proceeds to give Ezekiel a very thorough tour of the future Temple.  The descriptions of the restored Temple of Jerusalem continue for over 3 chapters. There are detailed descriptions of each element to be measured and positioned.

The haftarah begins with the words, “Thou, son of man, describe the house to the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities…And if they are ashamed of all that they have done make known to them the form of the house…”

The Jews were miserable. It was the 25th year of the exile to Babylon. Gd wanted to give them hope but made it clear that the Temple  would only be restored if the Jews were repentant and corrected their behaviours and observances.

Right now, in February 2016, the debate about who can pray at the Kotel (the Western Wall) and how they can pray has ignited again.

Under Jordanian rule Jews were forbidden to pray at the Western Wall from 1948 until 1967. When Israeli forces liberated Jerusalem in 1967 Jews were once again free to go to the Kotel. In the last few years there have been debates and protests about the type of prayer allowed at the Kotel. Men and women together? Apart? Women reading Torah? Permissible? How? Where? When? Why?

The temple Mount is the holiest place of Judaism. The Kotel is the only remaining wall of the Temple’s encompassing structure. This remnant of the Temple should be a place of acceptance and harmony. It should be a place where all Jews can speak to Gd in their own way, unfettered by divisive, alienating rules.

I hope that each of us will be able to look straight up to the heavens and talk to Gd instead of expending our energies looking sideways at what others are doing. Maybe then peace, and the Third Temple, will appear.

I based my drawing at the top of this post on a rendering of Solomon’s Temple from an illumination in an early 12th C. German manuscript. The manuscript is currently in Vienna, Austria in the National Library. The floor plan shows the position of the ritual objects in the Temple.

May you have a Shabbat Shalom- one of peace, understanding and warmth.

Laya

Rabbi Cardozo wrote an interesting piece on the subject of prayer at the Western Wall.  http://www.cardozoacademy.info/thoughts-to-ponder/shut-down-the-kotel/

 

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Hanukkah 5776


                                                      Hanukkah shabbat 1 sigart by Laya Crust

This week we’ve been celebrating Hanukkah, the holiday of light. Each night we light candles or  small cruzes of olive oil to celebrate the success of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd C.  BCE.  Antiochus IV was in control of the region, forbidding the observance of Judaism and ultimately desecrating the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Hannukahh is a visually beautiful observance. We light candles in our doorways, windows, and even outside, sharing the holiday with every person who knowingly or unknowingly walks by a  hanukiah .  It’s somehow compelling to realize that the Festival of Lights occurs during the coldest, darkest time of the year. The days are shorter, the winter is coming or has already arrived – whether it’s rainy and cold in Israel or snowy and cold in the northern hemisphere. So in this cold dark part of the year we have the glow of light around us.

It’s a wonderful time to get together with friends and family to share a cup of tea and watch the candles burn low.

It’s an even better time to get together with someone you know who might be alone without friends or family to celebrate with. If you know someone who is alone for the evening give them a call. Share a candle, tea, and cookies. And if you know someone who is isolated, depressed, not well- give them a call to share the warmth and joy.  And if you feel really energetic you can make yummy potato latkes and share them!

Here is the latke recipe I like to use.P1120454

8 medium potatoes. ( if you scrub them well you don’t have to peel them)

1 largish onion

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour or matzah meal (you can even leave this out if there is a gluten allergy or sensitivity in your circle)

1 – 2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

oil for frying.

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Grate the potatoes.

Cut the onion in half then slice it nice and thin.

Mix all the ingredients together- EXCEPT FOR THE OIL.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When it’s nice and hot put in a 1/4 cup of potato mixture for each latke.

Let them cook for about 6-8 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Then flip gently and let it cook another 5 – 7 minutes- until golden on the other side. I like to make the latkes on the thin side so they cook all the way through. Add a small amount of oil as necessary, gently and carefully tipping the frying pan so the oil finds its way throughout those sizzling critters.

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Place the fried latkes on an opened (clean) paper bag or on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

If you want to “change them up” you can add grated zucchini, sweet potato, parsnip, beets or carrots- you get the idea.

Warning- it doesn’t matter how many you make- there will rarely be enough.

It’s popular to eat latkes with sour cream and apple sauce, but I grew up eating them with chrein (horseradish).

Yehudit Permut of Israel  told me, “A family tradition started in my maternal grandmother’s family in Russia was latkes from a different vegetable each candle – using the root vegetables that were stored in the root cellar and had been grown in their garden in the summer. We continued this and I have already passed it on to my children. It can be potato mixed with other veg or things like beets and parsnip, parsnip and carrot, potato and either veg, even potato mixed with some shredded cabbage and onions… anything goes. They used what they had.”

Enjoy the latkes and enjoy the last of Hanukkah.

Chag Sameach, Laya

 

 

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Mattot and the Three Weeks

Mattot

Jeremiah 1:1- 2:3

Jeremiah (prophet) c. 655 BCE – 586 BCE

This week we observed the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, the beginning of the Three Weeks of mourning. The haftarah readings during the three weeks  include sections from the book of Jeremiah and the book of Isaiah.  Mattot is the first of the three readings, introducing us to the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah warned B’nei Yisrael that they were going to be punished for their idol worship. He told the people  the Temple would be destroyed and they would be exiled  but the Israelites ignored him.  At the end of his life, in 586 BCE, Judah was destroyed and Jerusalem was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar. The majority of Jews were exiled to Babylon.

The haftarah describes Jeremiah’s conversation with Gd. The prophet’s mouth is touched by Gd’s hand, and then he successively has a vision of a flowering almond branch and a boiling cauldron. This is reminiscent of Isaiah’s mouth being touched by an angel. The almond branch represents Jeremiah’s link to Aaron the kohen and the boiling cauldron from the north represents destruction coming from the north.

 Jeremiah tried to warn the Jews about the destruction of the Temple and their fate at the hands of their enemies but the Jews wouldn’t believe him.

I tried to think of a parallel situation where a Jew tried to warn his brethren of upcoming disaster to the nation but he or she was ignored. I remembered two individuals who lived at the time of the Second World War and attempted to rally Western Jews to put political pressure on their governments and spur them to save the Jews of Europe.  M.J. Nurenberger  was a journalist  who attempted to mobilize individuals and organizations to fight for the survival of Jews under the Nazi regime.  He wrote, met, and organized tirelessly but met with political stonewalling.  He wrote a book about his experiences called “The Scared and the Doomed”.   Arthur Szyk, an artist, used his art  to disseminate the message of Nazi goals and brutality. There are messages in his political cartoons, illustrated Haggadah and illustrated megillot.

This photograph was taken in New York in 1944 at the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.   Nurenberger is in the 1st row, 1st on the left.  Szyk is in the 2nd row, 1st on the left.

M. J. Nurenberger with Einstein            Szyk  self-portrait , drawing the enemy

            

We are always at risk it seems- look at what is happening in Israel and Europe today. There are those visionaries who try to help and warn us. May we see a sustained peace for Jews, Israel,  and all humanity soon.

On a side note,  there is a program pairing people with soldiers and people on guard duty in Israel called The Shmira Project. Go to http://www.shmiraproject.com/SignUp.aspx.  You then pray and/or perform mitzvot with that soldier in mind, asking G-d to answer your good deeds with protection for that soldier.  (My soldier’s name is Noam ben Nicole.) There is no charge, and it takes 30 seconds to sign up.

Shabbat Shalom, and may these three weeks be for healing and peace.

 

 

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Hukkat

Hukkat

Haftarah:  Judges 11: 1 – 33        Yiftach (Jephte)- warrior,  12th- 11th C. BCE

I’ve been away for a while, preparing for an art exhibit, but I’m back. Here are thoughts and art pertaining to this week’s haftarah

The haftarah for Hukkat focuses on the story of a man named Yiftach (Jephte) who led his tribe to victory against the Ammonites. Yiftach was an accomplished fighter. He was driven out of the family by his half brothers- the “legitimate” sons of Gilead who said they did not want to share their land inheritance with him. When the Ammonites declared war against B’nei Yisrael, the sons of Gilead begged their half-brother Yiftach to lead them to battle. They said they would appoint him as leader of their tribe if he led them to victory.

Yiftach tried to negotiate with the enemy but they would neither negotiate nor compromise.  With God’s support Yiftach led his army to victory and consequently he became leader for six years. ( The victory is followed by a terrible incident caused by an unnecessary oath Yiftach made to God. The result of this oath is a well known and  tragic story that is not included in this week’s haftarah.)

To paint Yiftach leading his fighters into battle I tried to find images of Jewish warriors. I looked at ancient paintings, medieval haggadot and early manuscript paintings confident that I would find something- after all b’nei Yisrael was involved in many battles in throughout the bible.  I couldn’t seem to find historical images of Jewish soldiers.

I finally came across this beautiful rendering from “The Duke of Sussex Pentateuch”.                                             This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is duke-of-sussex-1.jpg       “V’Yidaber” Duke of Sussex Pentateuch,  by Hayyim, c. 1300

The Duke of Sussex Pentateuch was written and illuminated in southern Germany around 1300 by a scribe-artist known only as Hayyim. The “carpet page” (illuminated title page) shows four knights drawn in fine line work and with surprisingly delicate features. Each represents one of the tribes that camped around the Tent of Meeting, displaying their tribal flags.  The fantastical beasts with human faces are quite intriguing. 

It is intriguing that the Jewish artist had painted the leaders of the tribes of Israel as crusaders. I assume that was the only context the Jews of Germany had for soldiers. Even though these men are wearing crusader uniforms they are b’nei Yisrael warriors ready for battle.  I gave them weapons and the flag of the Tribe of Menashe.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is duke-of-sussex-2.jpg                         This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is duke-of-sussex-3-1.jpg                           This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is duke-of-sussex-4.jpg

Rather than depending on the uniforms of other nations, now we can be proud of our Jewish soldiers in a Jewish army defending our Jewish State of Israel in their own uniforms.

The story of Yiftach is yet another story of family relationships, discussion, and pride. The brothers selfishly expelled Yiftach from their family. When they were desperate for help they appealed to him and he returned. He didn’t allow his pride to stand in the way of saving his tribe. Both Moses and Yiftach tried to negotiate with the nations who stood against them in order to avoid war. Either pride or greed stopped the Amorites and the Ammonites from settling with the Israelites. In each case the Israelites won the battles. These narratives are lessons to us to negotiate in good faith and fulfill our relationships with open hearts, and good faith.

Now, about the exhibit. For the last few years I have been posting blogs featuring paintings referring to Tanach and Bible narratives. Now these images are on display at the Beth Tzedec Museum in Toronto, Canada. As well as 88 prints from my haftarah series, there are also ketuboth, handmade books, and the Megillat Esther  I created for the Gilbert-Schachter family. Most of the work on display is available for purchase. The exhibit is up until October 24, 2019. Please come and take a look, and let me know what you think! 

Beth Tzedec Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum                                                  1700 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5P 3K3                                                                    Hours: When the synagogue is open       7 days a week, 8:00 a.m.  – 9:30 p.m.    

Have a Shabbat Shalom,  Laya

 

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Va Yak’hel

Va Yikahel sig

Kings I  7: 40 – 50

King Solomon- c. 979 BCE – 927 BCE. He was known for his wisdom, wealth and poetry.

This week’s Torah reading describes the creation of holy objects for the mishkan. It describes the materials- the gold, silver, brass, precious stones, and materials for spinning fabric. The haftarah describes the crafted vessels for King Solomon’s Temple. The magnificence is described close on the heels of the sin of fashioning the golden calf. 

Isn’t it contradictory- to punish the people for creating a golden calf but then command them to make expensive objects to be used in religious observance? They loved ornamentation and beauty. They gave their gold and precious jewelry to Aaron to make an idol to replace the absent Moshe. The answer to the contradiction is in the wording.

Phrases like “wise hearted”  and “willing of heart” appear 15 times in this parsha.  

That is the difference between the mishkan and the Temple; and the golden calf which is an idol. Only individuals who were wise hearted and generous could see past the expense and glitter of the materials through to the purpose of the prayer and service to God.  Those who are wise and generous can understand and facilitate elevation of spirit.

In this parsha my two sides are recognized- the entity of artist and the entity of womanhood.  Women are often disregarded in our writings, but here  men and women are recognized equally as being wise hearted and willing hearted.

The value God places on creativity was the theme of my illustrationThe vessels are based on one of the beautiful and timeless illuminations from 1299, Perpignan, Aragon.  The watercolour wash represents imagination and spirituality. The two quotations are from the parsha:  “Take from among you an offering of the Lord, whoever is of a willing heart let them bring it…” (35:5)     “And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing of heart.” (35:22)

So you artists, artisans, wood workers, poets, musicians, playwrights, weavers, silversmiths, etc. etc.- when you work with integrity and inspiration remember that it is God’s gift to you. This is your contribution to the spiritual beauty of the world.

Have Shabbat Shalom- one full of beauty and joy and of course – creative thinking.

**When you “click” on the illustration it will enlarge.

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Tetzaveh

Titzaveh

Tetzaveh

Ezekiel 43: 10 – 27

Ezekiel (prophet) – c.622 BCE – 570 BCE

It’s February- winter for those of us in the Northern hemisphere. Here I am in Toronto watching the snow relentlessly falling. The wind is swirling the snowflakes around those of us who have taken a walk outside. Travelling -even in our imaginations– from snowfall 2014 to Babylon 565 BCE is quite a distance. But that’s where we are going.

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Ezekiel, the son of a Cohen, was among the 8,000 Jews to be exiled to Babylon in 597 BCE.

In the Book of Ezekiel,Chapter 40, Ezekiel writes that he is carried by G-d to the land of Israel. He is set on top of a very high mountain where he sees something like the structure of a city. A man who looks like he is made of brass proceeds to give Ezekiel a very thorough tour of the future Temple.  We read about the restored Temple of Jerusalem with detailed descriptions of each element that is to be measured and positioned. The descriptions continue for over 3 chapters. The haftarah begins with the words, “Thou, son of man, describe the house to the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities…And if they are ashamed of all that they have done make known to them the form of the house…”

 G-d gave Ezekiel an incredible amount of information on the construction of the next Temple. Along with the architectural and design plans came a provision- that the Jews had to feel remorse over their  wrongdoing. It  appears that the description of the Temple  to the Jews was in order to give them hope that they would have their Jewish world restored in the future. They were miserable. It was the 25th year of the exile to Babylon. G-d wanted to give them hope but it to be clear, however, that the temple would only be restored if the Jews were repentant and corrected their behaviours and observances.

There have been many interpretations on the appearance of the Temple over the millenia.

I based my drawing at the top of this post on a rendering of Solomon’s Temple from an illumination in an early 12th C. German manuscript. The manuscript is currently in Vienna, Austria in the National Library. I loved the way the artist showed every little detail of the Temple. The columns were drawn, the altar, the basins, the incense. And to give the viewer a true idea of the appearance of each item they were drawn on the floor plan as one would see them if the objects were standing up. It may have been done in the 12th C, but it may also have been a forerunner to the cubists. (Just joking. Maybe I’ll give a lesson on cubism another day.)

We may not be exiles in Babylon but Jews all over the world today still hope for the rebuilding of the Third Temple.  We have  a few ideas we can carry with us from this week’s haftarah- one of the ambition to live lives of goodness and integrity, and the continued longing for a unified nation able to pray together in Jerusalem.

So- what do you think of Ezekiel’s opportunity to see the Third Temple and tell his fellow Jews about it? The concept of Ezekiel being carried by G-d from Babylon to a mountain top in the future Israel is quite amazing.

Share your thoughts and share this post with your friends and on Facebook. Take care and I’ll be back next week…..

(a note:  I reconfigured the floor plan so it would fit the long narrow format that I waned for the Haftarah series.)

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Terumah

Terumah sig

Kings I,  5:26-6:13

King Solomon –  Succeeded David as King in the year  967 B.C.E.

King Solomon ruled for 40 years. He was known for his wisdom, his wealth and his writings. The haftarah and Torah portion both discuss the construction of HaShem’s “home”. In parshat Terumah G-d tells Moses that the children of Israel should make G-d a sanctuary (called a mishkan in Hebrew). Beautifully, G-d includes EVERYONE who wants to be included the project. He says to accept contributions from everyone who has a willing heart.

This announcement is followed by a list of materials that are needed to build the mishkan. It is quite an undertaking to build a portable sanctuary in the desert, but the plans are dictated and this how it may have looked. 

The haftarah is about the construction of King Solomon’s  most famous achievement – building the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The construction of the Temple under King Solomon’s reign began around 958 B.C.E. The trees (cedars and cypress) and stones were imported from Lebanon. I began to imagine how the materials were transported from Lebanon southward to Jerusalem- over mounatins, through forests, all uncultivated terrain. The idea is daunting. There were huge numbers of men involved in the production. Thirty thousand men went to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men, one month at a time. Seventy thousand men carried the loads. Eighty thousand men quarried the mountains. 3,300 men were appointed as overseers. It made me think of the building of the national railway in Canada!

The haftarah doesn’t describe how the stones and lumber were carried to Jerusalem. I thought about the technology of the time. Would the material be carried on ox carts? On flatbeds with wheels? With a pulley system? It seemed impossible. Then I realized- these large, heavy materials were probably transported on the Mediterranean Sea down the coast to the nearest port, and then overland to Jerusalem. The logs could have been floated down and the quarried stone could have been taken by ship or rafts. I immediately remembered a beautiful ketubah- a favourite design of mine- from 1853 Istanbul, Turkey. istanbul ketubah02It shows two large, beautiful trees on the banks of the Bosphorous River with boats sailing in the water.

This image seemed perfect for the haftarah with its abundance of trees, elaborate structures and many side chambers extending from the central building. And the flowers and the leaves!  We see the vivid florals and fruits within the foliage. (We know that there were pomegranates and lilies on the columns in the Temple.)

This ketubah, unlike many other historical  ketuboth, is painted on paper rather than parchment. The artist used watercolour and gold leaf on the artwork. The profusion of foliage is typical of ketuboth from Turkey and other Muslim countries. The leaves and flowers are painted very closely together and the dark green  of the leaves creates a wonderful undulating movement in the decoration. As is typical of these ketuboth the text is written in tiny cursive lettering centered within the arched opening allocated for lettering.

All that building and transportation mentioned in the haftarah text resulted in a beautiful structure. Unlike the mishkan which was dictated by G-d, the Temple was designed by people.

Quite an amazing feat for thousands of years ago. We don’t have the beauty of the Temple today, and we pray for its return. In the meantime haShem has blessed artists and artisans with the ability to create beautiful objects with which to enhance our daily lives and our special occasions. And thus- the beautiful ketubah from 1853 Istanbul.
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Sukkot 2nd Day

Sukkot day 2copyright Laya Crustcopyright Laya Crust

Sukkot Second Day

Kings I,  8: 2-21

King Solomon, around 952 BCE

Sukkot is one of the many joyous holidays we celebrate. After the seriousness of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur the prospect of eating lovely meals in a decorated Sukkah outdoors is certainly appealing. This year, in any case, we have the possibility of wonderful weather in North America since the holiday is coming in mid- September. Other years when those of us in the north have to wipe snow off our Sukkah chairs we remember why we should be living in Israel.

This haftarah describes the dedication of the Ark, transferring it from the mishkan to the Temple. The cheruvim are described with their wings outstretched sheltering the ark. Nothing was in the ark but the two Stone Tablets from Mount Sinai- think of that!! And a holy cloud filled the Temple- so thick the Kohanim couldn’t see.

There is an exquisite book of illuminated manuscripts from Amiens, France, created around 1280. (The manuscript is currently in the British Library in London.) All the illustrations are beautiful and richly coloured. The picture featured this week is based on one of the manuscript pages.

We see the cheruvim hovering over the ark, the staves of the mishkan, the “mizbeach” (slaughtering table) for the sacrifices, complete with the ritual knives for the “shechting”.

Beside the representation of the ark with the cheruvim are two sides of a Bar Kochba coin, 134-135 C.E.

JUDAEA, Bar Kochba Revolt. 132-135 CE. AR Sela...

JUDAEA, Bar Kochba Revolt. 132-135 CE. AR Sela – Tetradrachm (28mm, 14.07 g, 11h). Undated issue (year 3 – 134/5 CE). Temple facade, the Ark of the Covenant within; star above / Lulav with etrog. Mildenberg 85.12 (O127/R44´); Meshorer 233; Hendin 711. Near EF, toned, light deposits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the left are both sides of the Bar Kochba coin- one side showing the Temple in Jerusalem and the other showing the arba minim and the etrog. It was incredible to come across that Bar Kochba coin. It shows the religious faith that motivated Bar Kochba and his men in their years of struggle and rebellion. The love of Judaism- and the sanctity of the temple in Jerusalem- is what inspired and fueled their passion.

The medieval painting illustrates the words in the second day of the haftarah. The coins are a moving testament to the centrality of this holiday to the Bar Kochba fighters.

Beautifully there was another set of 36 coins found near the Temple Mount just a few short days ago, on September 9, 2013- a most auspicious day. 

There was also a golden medallion (above) showing a menorah, shofar and Torah scroll. The treasure, found by Dr. Eilat Mazar, is about 1,400 years old. The coins and medallions that are found are tangible proof of the continuous history we Jews have had in the land of Israel. And we are blessed to be able to say, “Next year in Jerusalem” and know that we can be in Jerusalem even earlier- this year!

 

Do you have a theory as to why Bar Kochba chose to use the symbols of the Temple and the four species of Sukkot on his coins? What do you think of the depiction of the “cheruvim” with their faces and colourful wings? I’m interested to read your comments and ideas.

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