Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shiviti Plaques in Budapest - Part 3

The central portion of this Shiviti is divided into three sections, the medial one being headed by the term "Shiviti" at its top, the Ineffable Name directly below it, which is in turn, as it were, supported by a very ornate Menorah (seven branched candelabrum) below it. On either side of the Ineffable Name we note two windowlike panes with circular stained-glass constructs located centrally, and the earlier mentioned terms "l'negdi tamid" respectively inscribed in red on each windowsill. Of course, the most important Divine Name appearing on any Shiviti is the Ineffable Name (YHVH), and in this instance the pane surrounding the Unique Name is, as shown in the following detail, inscribed with three biblical phrases extolling the virtues and invoking the support of the Eternal One of truth and goodness:
Inscribed in beautiful calligraphy, the three phrases with a single spelling correction read:
(Right — Exodus 34:6) YHVH YHVH El rachum v’chanun erech apayim v’rav chesed v’emet
(Bottom — Psalm 130:2) Adonai shim’ah v’koli tih’yena oznecha kashuvot l’kol tachanunai
(Left — Psalm 19:14 [15]) yiyu l’ratzon imrei fi v’hegyon libi l’fanecha YHVH tzuri v’go’ali
(Right — Exodus 34:6) "YHVH YHVH El merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth."
(Bottom — Psalm 130:2) "Lord, hearken unto my voice; let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications."
(Left — Psalm 19:14 [15]) "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee YHVH, my Rock, and my Redeemer."
As mentioned previously, the two window frames located on either side of the Ineffable Name comprises the following circular stained-glass inserts:
As shown in the following details, each of the mentioned stained-glass inserts comprises the Ineffable Name accompanied by four words the initials of which are spelling the Explicit Name:
Whilst the third word of the phrase in the left window is somewhat obscured, I believe the following reading of the respective phrases to be correct:
(Right — Psalm 96:11) Yishm’chu Ha-shamayim V’tagel Ha-aretz
(Left) Yachid Hu V'yode'a Ha-kol
(Right — Psalm 96:11) "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice."
(Left ) "Unique is He, and knows everything."
There has been a lot of very interesting Kabbalistic deliberation around the latter phrase, which we might peruse in greater detail at the conclusion of the analysis of this Shiviti. Be that as it may, the attention paid to detail in the artistic embelishments of this portion of the Shiviti is again most impressive. Consider the full image of the left panel:
Besides the filigree filling the sides and bottom of the image, the central column of each window is embelished with the same floral pattern employed in the previously addressed draping below the upper crown. As it is, the two windows under discussion are themselves "crowned" with a bouquet of flowers arranged in a blue vase, the latter itself suspended, as shown below, in an appealing frame of intricate design:
(More to follow)

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