August 26, 2016
Von Rabbiner Schlomo Hofmeister
Der zweite Abschnitt des Schma Jissraël stammt aus unserer Paraschat Ekew. Darin werden wir aufgefordert, dem Lieben G’tt „zu dienen“ mit unserem „ganzen Herzen“. (Dewarim 11:13)
Unsere Weisen fragen im Talmud: „Was ist diese Awoda sche-ba-Lew – dieser Dienst des Herzens? Das ist das Gebet!“ (Talmud, Ta’anit 2a) Was bedeutet dieses sonst allgemein bekannte Konzept? Wie ist der Begriff des Dienens mit Gebet gleichzusetzen? Read the rest of this entry »
April 4, 2011
The image left is on the 1892 edition of the Rödelheim Machsor, the well known German Jewish holiday prayerbook. It seems to represent the holidays, and I can make out most items. In the center are the Tablets of the Law, for the holiday of Shavu’ot. At the bottom, we find an incense burner in front of a shofar, representing Yom Kippur and Rosh haShana, respectively. The shofar doubles as a stringed instrument, representing the Levitical chants in the Temple. Left, above the shofar, is part of a trumpet, again evoking the Levitical musical performances during the Temple service. To the right and left are myrtle and date palm branches, two of the four species held during the Sukkot services.
However, I am mystified by the other four symbols. On top is the sun, which I am not sure what it is doing here; is it an allusion to Pessach, which always falls out in the early spring? Is it actually a radiating matza, rather than a sun? Immediately to the right of the Tablets of the Law is a structure that could be a building with lots of windows, a box for sorting little items like nails, spices, or whatever, or it could be a book with a very peculiar cover; I don’t know. On the immediate upper left of the Tablets is a kind of tube, which I cannot make sense of, either. Finally, on the left side, there seems to be a kind of chain or arc connecting the trumpet, the shofar or the myrtle branch to the sun, which I can’t interpret, either. Do you have a suggestion? If so, please leave a comment.