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The Secret of the Twelve Lights of the Twelve Gems

29.06.2021 - 14:00 / Festival Tent, ul. Józefa 36 | live: 30.jewishfestival.pl

“Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; the third row shall be jacinth, agate and amethyst; the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper.[…] There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel. […] he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord”. (Exodus 28:17-31)

On the chest of the High Priest in the Temple rested the Choshen (=breastplate), to which were affixed twelve gems, from which emanated lights of various shades, which together created a variety of combinations of forms, through which the word of G-d was carried into the world. What was the secret of these stones? What is the message that each shade carries with it? How were the different combinations of shades formed? How was the visual message conveyed to our eyes? And most importantly, how do gems illuminate the interiors of our souls? In order to understand all this, we will investigate the teachings about light in ‘Torat haOrot’  by the sages of Safed: the Ramak (Rabbi Moshe Cordovero), the Ari (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria), and at the same time we will delve into the colourful teachings of Polish Kabbalists: Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz (Shla’h), Rabbi Samson ben Pesah Ostropoli, and the famous Krakow Kabbalist Rabbi Natan Neta Shapira (the Megaleh Amukos).

 

rabin Boaz Pash

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