Just a few more beautiful things to show you from the Supreme Court Building.
The foyer of the courtroom area expresses all the architectural contrasts of the building--inside and outside, old and new, lines and circles.
The natural stone wall is a continuation of the wall that begins at the building's entrance.
Opposite it, in stark contrast, is a modern white wall with 14 tall niches containing windows and lovely curving benches for the public.
Natural light enters these niches through pyramid-shaped skylights, creating shadows on the white wall that change throughout the day.
Deuteronomy 16:18 says "You will appoint judges and officers in all your gates . . . and they will judge people with a just judgment."
Here in the foyer there is a gate for each of the five Supreme Court courtrooms.
The three-tiered design of the entrances represents these gates and is also meant to remind us of the three-tiered design that was used for entrances to many public buildings in the ancient Near East. Our guide mentioned Mesopotamia, for example.
I am wondering if this could be a form of tribute to the Babylonian King Hammurabi.
Around 1790 B.C.E. he enacted the famous Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon.
Our modern law systems in the world are still indebted to this ancient law code.
Or perhaps it is a hat-tip to Koresh, a.k.a. Cyrus the Great, king of Persia?
After all, following his conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. he did free the Jews, captives of the Babylonian exile.
We were finally allowed to return and to rebuild the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.
And indeed, in the Supreme Court Building's Judicial Heritage Museum, I found a written tribute to Koresh.
Well, actually it is a thank you letter from Chaim Weizmann to British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour, dated November 19, 1917, thanking him for the Balfour Declaration .
But it says
"Since Koresh the Great, history has never know a declaration that inspired a greater understanding of political wisdom or far reaching diplomacy and justice toward the Jewish People than this declaration, may it be remembered for all time."