Friday, October 10, 2008

The sun on Yom Kippur

This is my strange contribution to SkyWatch Friday.
Hundreds of other bloggers' skies can be viewed by clicking here.
The radiant circle at the top signifies the sunrise which in turn recalls the firstborn status of Reuben.

And this is the sunlight shining through Marc Chagall's stained glass windows as seen inside the synagogue at Hadassah Hospital.

The windows look so different--black--from the outside. Classical Hebrew of course had no word for this type of art, so we adopted the French word ויטראז vitrage.
  The square, simple synagogue is beneath the arched windows, behind the decorated lower walls.
Yesterday I walked up to Hadassah for the Yom Kippur prayer services. It was beautiful--the setting and the chanting and the sound of the shofar.
Late afternoon the sun sank low and suddenly the windows lost their color and light, making the intensity of the Neilah (literally, "locking") service even more powerful.
 The image is of the heavenly Gates of Repentance closing as the Day of Atonement ends.

Chagall  made one window for each of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob.
 The Twelve Tribes of Israel: Reuben, Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Gad, Judah, Joseph, Zebulon, Simeon, Levi, Naphtali, Issachar.

If you'd like to learn the Biblical source of Chagall's symbolism, Hadassah has a page on each of the windows starting here.

The late great Chagall made fascinating remarks about the sources of his inspiration at the dedication of the windows in 1962. This highly recommended reading is here.

Below is my favorite, Issachar, because of the donkey. Jacob's blessing in Genesis 49:
"Issachar is a strong-boned ass, crouching among the sheepfolds.
When he saw how good was safety, and how pleasant was the country,
he bent his shoulder to the burden and became a labourer."

This vitrage was damaged by shelling from Jordan's Arab Legion during the 1967 Six Day War. The white spot on the donkey is actually the repair of a shrapnel or bullet hole.
 I seem to remember from a guided tour that Mayor Teddy Kollek z"l was full of sorrow when this happened and telephoned the artist.
 Chagall said, "Don't worry. You just win the war and I will fix the glass."
.

28 comments:

Suz @ Alive in Wonderland said...

These are beautiful! Perfect for sky watch.
Suz

kjpweb said...

These Windows belong to the most vivid memories I have of Israel. Whenever I went to Jerusalem, I made a point visiting. It is absolutely awe-inspiring!
Thank you for sharing!
Cheers, Klaus

Webradio said...

Great sky(ies) Dina !

Très jolis vitraux...

Nice day for You...

Share my point of view... said...

The designs on the windows are intricate! It's breathtakingly beautiful!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

these windows are absolutely beautiful - what treasures to behold

imac said...

What great colours.

Gretchen said...

Beautiful stained glass window shots!

Shimmy Mom said...

Those are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing and the lovely lesson.
*hugs*

kaybee said...

What stunning windows, Dina - the colors are incredible! I'll take the time to read the stories about them.

Issachar is a favorite of mine a) because of the donkeys (long story!)and b) because I think he must have been very wise...and he passed that wisdom on to his sons. 1 Chronicles 13:32, talks about the sons of Issachar "who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do." I pray often for God to raise up men like them!

Eleanor said...

What absolutely wonderful stained glass windows. I love the work of Chagall but never knew about these treasures. And illuminated by the sun on the Day of Atonement makes this a very meaningful blog. Thank you for sharing them with me! Eleanor

Reader Wil said...

Zebulon shall dwell by the seashore;
He shall be a haven for ships."

I think my choice is Zebulon, because my father was a sailor and my husband had been one for a while,and I love the sea. But I love them all, they are all so perfect.Thank you for taking the trouble to show them to us.

JC said...

Dina, This is a beautiful post. The pictures are stunning.

Let me ask a question about the 12 tribes. I'm told that the Jewish people know what tribe they came from. Is that true? What tribe are you from?

Have a peaceful Sabbath.

John said...

Those photos are absolutely beautiful!

babooshka said...

You've done it again! ombined such mesmerizing imsges with your faith. Ingenious blogging. Euducational and so beautiful.

mommanator said...

truly georgeous! How wonderful of you to share these pics! and stories

Ann said...

Different and fascinating interpretation. Those red windows are beautiful.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

hi dina, just came to admire the windows one more time - they really are spectacular, so is chagall's story about how he was inspired to make them

we've just had an upgrade of the whole sewage and water supply pipes. we never really had a problem with them, but it annoys me that water is constantly being wasted in my town. it's as if we have never heard of climate change and environmental damage, which is simply not possible...

Dirk said...

Great contribution to SWF! Wonderfull stained glass windows. We have a lot of them in Belgium in our churches, some of them several hundred years old.

Catherine said...

Dina, you get a so original post for Sky watch! Since I participe to, I've seen many ways to present parts of skies, your today SWF is a new one, so artistic.
Thanks to open us the doors of the synagogue.
Have a great celebration of Yom Kippur.

GMG said...

Hi Dina! Sorry for the delay in coming here, but these last weeks have been hectic; no, I’m not talking about the financial/economic crisis… ;))
These Chagall windows are awesome. Always loved Chagall paintings, but I think his vitrages are unbeatable!
Meanwhile Blogtrotter is now on its 200th post: «The Libyan Sea»! Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Arija said...

Lovely stained glass windows and what a wonderful place for those in need to go and paray, especially in a major hospital.

Petrea said...

Remarkable works, remarkable story. It reminds me of an artist I heard of who would build his works, then break them. Wish I could remember his name.

Kris said...

I do like the look of that building. Not at all as I’d imagined looking at the windows first.

spacedlaw said...

I thought I'd recognised Chagall. I am not so fond of his paintings but his art looks wonderful as stained glass window.

Leora said...

Wonderful SkyWatch post.

Dick said...

Wow, that is wonderful, I like stained glass

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I've got a keeper link to Chagal. I was watching the mini movie and am reminded of Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles that is also filled with art works. A friend of mine was asked to paint the history of medicine in the hospital's auditorium. It was his last work and thats where we held his services.
You know me because I authored the blog Palm Axis. That blog is on sabbatical while I continue to blog daily from this one.

ichandrae said...

Beautiful Dina
I so love that red of Chagall's work it is suffering so energized on its route to salvation.

I love the stained glass windows in our cathedral,because the natrual light of the day shining brilliant through the art and the cathedral is the closest we come to celestial communion.