STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
BARNERT TEMPLE, FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ
The Stained Glass Windows of the Sisterhood Judaica Shop represent a congregate of Jewish symbols. The background is the Western Wall of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, symbolizing our history, our heritage, our faith. Two Shabbat candles cradle the mural on either side of the top right and left panels. The candles flow down, and rise up from the bottom center panel to form a third candle, suggesting a menorah. Their lights are linked to the light of Torah. A braid runs throughout, outlining the menorah. A Kiddush cup with sunlight hovers in the lower left panel.
There are three birds in total, the dove (upper middle panel), a bird with an olive branch (lower right), and another bird (lower left). A tallit streams on either side of the right and left lower panels (the white and blue colors representing the Israeli flag), and is held in the mouth of the dove: "peace" enveloping the entire piece.
Peace often comes with a troubled history. Yellow shapes with flames above are symbolic of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.
Through the shofar (lower right) flows the sound of our quintessential prayer: "Shema," "Listen"… Even as the shofar calls us to listen, we consider the words that emerge from our own mouths. The letter "shin" ("shofar", "shema") is met at the mouth by the letter "peh," (upper right). "Peh" means "mouth"; inside the "peh" is a "bet," which represents the first letter of the Torah. Our sages taught that from our mouths should come only words of Torah. Here, the "peh" is written in script, to remind us of three levels of learning Hebrew: reading, writing and comprehension.
The letter "yud" (lower left), small in appearance, reminds us that, though immense, the presence of G-d resides in our House. The word "chai" (upper left), meaning "life" celebrates survival and purpose. Stars of David peek throughout the Western Wall. The copper, twigs and moss remind us that though ancient, the wall breathes life and dimension of meaning, even today.