Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kohanim pendants by Israeli artists – Jewish art and spirituality

This year on Shavuot, like in every year, thousands of people have gathered at the Western Wall in the ancient city of Jerusalem to hear Birkat HaKoanim recited at the Kotel. I've already told you on an older post about this special blessing, Birkat Kohanim, alson known as the Priestly Blessing . Birkat HaKohanim is a powerful blessing that refers to the explicit name of God. This time i'd like to bring you here extraordinary Kohanim pendants by Israeli artists. Kohanim pendant makes a unique gift for Cohen or anyone who is interested in Jewish art and tradition.
In the image on the left, you can see Birkat Kohanim Pendant by HaAri Jewelry, Israel. The pendant is inscribed in Hebrew with the psalms that comprise Birkat HaKohanim in the bible: "The Lord bless thee and keep thee, The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (Book of Numbers, 6:24-26). One of God's sacred acronyms is found only in the Hebrew version.

Kohanim , Cohanim or Cohens are decedents of Aaron and his sons, who were the High Priests (Kohen Gadol) of the Israelites. Kohens form a holy order – they have to follow the rules of the Torah to protect them against ritual defilement. The Kohens must abstain from certain things like going to cemeteries. As commanded by God to Moses and Aaron, only the holy order of the Kohnim can recite this powerful blessing.

The Kohanim, who served God in the Tabernacle in the Sinai desert and at the temple in Jerusalem, wore a special breastplate, inserted with Hoshen stones. According to the book of Exodus, the precious stones on the breastplate of the High Priest were engraved with the Hebrew names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Hoshen breastplate was to be made according to specific directions, given in the Bible - book of Exodus, Chapter 28:

"And thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skilful workman; like the work of the ephod thou shalt make it: of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, shalt thou make it" (15).

"And the stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, every one according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes" (21).

The breastplate was connected to the mystical Urim and Thummim, and served as a divine oracle. This handcrafted Kohanim pendant is designed according the exact position of the stones as it was set in the High Priest's breastplate, as specified in the Bible. Each gemstone represents one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The 14 k gold plate in this hoshen pendant is engraved in Hebrew with the 12 names of the children of Israel.

Hoshen Breastplate Kohanim pendant by HaAri Jewelri (14K Gold)


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  2. Very Nice Post... have lots of variety of Jewish art and spirituality gifts and Items.