Monday, March 31, 2008


Today Christians celebrate the Feast of the Annuciation. When Gabriel appeared to Mary he of course had to say (like all the angels in the Bible), "Fear not."
But since this is a Jerusalem blog, I have no photos of the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Also no pictures of archangels, and none of Mary alone. But I DO have something with Gabriel's name on it. Look at this!
A mysterious piece made of ivory and metal, crafted long ago by Yemenite Jews. A gift from the Kabbalistic town of Safed (Tsfat). It says "In the name of God, in the name of Shaddai, Guardian of Israel. . . " and then the names of angels Gabriel, Rafael, Asiel, Shamriel. A kamea? The Hebrew kamea means amulet or charm. In English cameo?
Gabriel said "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" Mary was afraid, confused. How could she understand what he was announcing? But then she said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." This is what I like about Mary--her simple "fiat."


Chrisss said...

Beautiful kamea! I bet it's a treasured piece for you. Thanks for sharing.

reader Wil said...

This is a great message you gave us! Thank you!