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And the Bush was not consumed

“And he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

Many Biblical commentators have explored the reasons God chose the bush as a means by which to communicate with Moses, yet the bush was not consumed.

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The simplicity of the action has made us think and wonder about Moses motif to turn aside and investigate this phenomenon.The illustration shows Moses kneeling down at this holy site. The staff by his side which was used for leading his sheep and in the future will be used for leading a nation. The sheep is depict to highlight Moses concern for the individual sheep he was setting out to find. While shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep in the middle of the desert, Moses spots an extraordinary phenomenon: a bush is burning, yet is not consumed (Exodus, chapter 3). Curious to know what is going on, he turns towards the Bush and… Suddenly a voice is heard. God speaks to Moses and charges him with the responsibility of saving the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Why peer into that which continues to burn? Fire is, after all, a fearful phenomenon. And why use a small shrub rather than a grander imagery? That the bush is a lowly and common shrub at the “backside of the desert” attests to the humility of God, who waits there. It speaks also of its human undesirability by men who would think to find Him in more appropriate and convenient places. That the bush is burning, but “not consumed” is suggestive of the perpetuation of Israel despite its historic sufferings It also speaks of the unanswered issues of that nation’s history and particularly of its unrecognized past and yet future judgments. One of the best known biblical commentators, Rashi, sees the Burning Bush as a symbol of God’s sheltering presence during times when the Jews will go through “burning difficulties.” Just as the Bush is sustained because the Almighty supports its existence, so too will the Almighty support the Jewish people’s survival in their time of need. The Hebrew word for bush (“Sneh”) is similar in spelling to the Hebrew word “Sinai.” This Midrash sees the Burning Bush, then, as a symbol of the fire which will burn atop Mount Sinai during the giving of the Ten Commandments. The commentators note that a bush cannot be used for idol worship and thus Moses was hearing God’s will from a medium that would be free of all spiritual pollution. Another suggestion is that the image of the Burning Bush is a prototype for all physical reality. Since the physical world is a product of Godly, spiritual creation, it is logical to assume that the physical universe should be consumed by the overwhelmingly powerful spiritual flow emanating from God. The continued existence of the entire physical universe, therefore, is very much like the continued existence of this Burning Bush. Through the symbolism of the Bush, the Almighty gave His reassurance to sustain the world. While all other prophets received God’s messages in the form of images that had to be subsequently interpreted, Moses heard God’s word directly without the need for intermediary images. The Burning Bush, however, is the one exception to this rule, and suggests that Moses’ spiritual perceptions still were in need of development. Just as the Burning Bush is a symbol of lowliness, but pregnant with possibilities beyond the natural order, so too would Moses’ later prophecies go beyond what he could spiritually perceive at the present moment … taking him to heights that no other human would ever achieve in history.

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Asher- Silk Tie- Twelve Tribes

Asher: was the eighth son of Jacob, and the second of Jacob’s two sons by Zilpah, Leah’s maid. The other son by Zilpah was Gad.The name Asher means “happy.”When Jacob blesses his 12 sons in Genesis, chapter 49, he said that Asher would have a life blessed with an abundance of food and delicacies befitting a king (Genesis 49:20).

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The Tribe of Asher increased in size from 41,500 to 53,400 adult males during the span of two censuses described in the Book of Numbers. In Deuteronomy 33:1 and Deuteronomy 24-25, Moses, in his blessing, also predicted prosperity for the Tribe of Asher. The Tribe of Asher failed to drive out the inhabitants of Phoenician towns in the area of Israel that the tribe had been allotted as its inheritance (Judges 1:27). In the Song of Deborah, which is featured in Judges, chapter 5, the Tribe of Asher is reprimanded for not helping out during the struggle against a Canaanite king (Judges 5:17).The tribe, however, did participate in the expulsion of the Midianites and Amalekites from the Plain of Jezreel “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already”. (Exodus 1, verses 1-5) In the Bible, the Israelites are described as descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28. The Bible contains about two dozen listings of the twelve sons of Jacob and/or tribes of Israel. Some of these are in very brief lists, while others are spread out over several paragraphs or chapters that discuss the distribution of the land or name certain representatives of each tribe, one after another. Once the Israelites completed the conquest of the land of Canaan during the days of Joshua, the twelve tribes split up to their assigned territory. For many years, each tribe was ruled by a series of Judges. At times enemies had to be fought but not all the tribes were united in battle. The tribes hoped to be united as the other nation through leadership of a king. The prophet Samuel, names Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, to be the first king of Israel. After Sauls Short reign Samuel anoints David of the tribe of Judah. Israel was again united under King David, and followed so during the reign of his son King Solomon. Solomon’s son, Reheboam however saw the split of Israel in two- 10 northern tribes making the kingdom of Israel (aka Northern Kingdom) and the other being the Kingdom of Judah, comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When the Assyrian captured the Northern kingdom (tribes) around 720 BCE they disbursed the Israelites among many lands. When the Babylonian captured the Judean kingdom around 680 BCE the tribes of Judah and Benjamin held on to their identity as Judeans. It is said that all Jews descend from these two remaining tribes.

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Awake O’ North and Come Yemen

 “Awake, O north wind, Come, O south wind! blow upon my garden that its perfume may spread. Let my beloved come to his garden and enjoy its luscious fruits!” (Song of Songs 4:16)

The south (Yemen) will help pollinate the garden (land of Israel). The blend of north and south is evident today in the land of Israel with the immigration of Yemenite Jewry. The illustration comes to show the blend of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi cultures. The Hebrew words suggest a messianic era.

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Yemenite Jewry has a strong rooted history in the southern part of Arabia. Perhaps traders reached this remote area as early as the time of King Solomon. Historical sources establish their appearance in Yemen just before the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians. Due to the natural geographic isolation of the area, the Yemenite Jewish community has been able to strictly adhere to their traditions, religion and customs over the centuries. Never the less this community has maintained contact with other Jewish centers such as those in Babylonia, and the Land of Israel. The largest Jewish community was in San’a, the capital, but most Jews lived in villages dispersed throughout the country. The Jews living in villages usually enjoyed better relations with their Moslem neighbors than did city Jews. The Jews differed from their neighbors in their outward appearance. In villages, the difference was in small details, in cities in their general appearance. Jewish men had side-locks, and wore a modest head covering. Jewish women in San’a wore characteristic attire, which was very different from that of the Moslem women. During the spread of Islam, in Southern Arabia , Jews became Dhimmi, a protected religious minority. Unfortunately they were imposed with various prohibitions and laws, some of them humiliating. Never the less, they maintained their religion and a certain level of internal independence. They took measures not to be conspicuous with luxurious clothing and houses, but maintained an appearance of modesty. Most Jews were craftsmen, occupations not practiced by the Moslems, thus providing a necessary element to the country’s economy. They especially excelled at silver working and in embroidery, in which they attained impressive achievements. Many Jews also practiced weaving, pottery, basketry, glaziers and construction work.

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B’reishit (Genesis) The Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve, and the snake with an utopian Garden of Eden

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Traditions are formed not only by practices shaped by text and images, but also through oral expression. These distinctive illustrations represent the imagery of our history. Avi Katz created the designs to be part of the Ancient Ties Chai Style Collection. These exquisite images chronicle our roots by recounting the stories of the Bible.

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Chayei Sara An important meeting at the well

In ancient days the well was a common meeting place. Eliezer, the servant of Abraham begins to learn of the fine qualities of Rebecca.

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Traditions are formed not only by practices shaped by text and images, but also through oral expression. These distinctive illustrations represent the imagery of our history. Avi Katz created the designs to be part of the Ancient Ties Chai Style Collection. These exquisite images chronicle our roots by recounting the stories of the Bible.

Price: $24.00

Citadel of David Silk Tie

“Also he (King Hezekia) strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers and repaired Millo in the city of David and made darts and shields in abundance” (Chronicles II 32:5)

The tie features a scene depicting the tower from a westerly view. The scene below the tower is of a grove of olive trees of some which are hundreds of years old. This impressionistic illustration helps portray the tower as a Jerusalem Icon through time. The Tower of David dominates the old city from its highest point.

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Since the second century BCE the fortress has guarded Jerusalem vulnerable northern and western approaches. Each successive ruler of the city, aware of the site’s importance, buttressed and rebuilt it, endeavoring to out do his predecessors The victory of Judah the Macabee over the successors of Alexander the Great marked the start of the Hasmonean dynasty in the second century BCE. It was a period of prosperity, reflected in large-scale construction in Jerusalem, the Kingdoms capital. The earliest structures built of impressive hewn stone, are the remnants of a wall and two towers, which probably define the city’s western limits in the Hasmonean period. On the ground of the Citadel were hundreds of arrowheads along with catapult and sling stones perhaps from the siege laid on the city in 132 CE by Antiochus IV. No one built Jerusalem more grandly than King Herod, about 150 years later. The majesty of the Western Wall is evidence of his prowess as a builder of monumental structures. His major contribution to the city’s fortifications consisted of the three magnificent towers of the Citadel, named after his brother, good friend and his wife: Phasael, Hippicus and Miriam. When Rome gave way to Byzantium, Jerusalem became a magnet for Christian pilgrims. In this period the Citadel was probably not used exclusively for military purposes; small enclosures with rough mosaic floors suggest monks, quarters. But the Byzantines, too, reinforced the Citadels walls, using the ancient stones dislodged in previous battles. In 638 CE the Arabs overran the city, ruling for the next 460 years. They built a smaller Citadel with a rounded tower, the ruins of which are still visible in the southern part of the inner courtyard.

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Dove of Peace silk tie

When the dove returned to him in the evening, see!, a freshly picked olive leaf in her beak! Then Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth”. (Genesis 7:11)

The silhouetted image of the dove is showing the constant upward flow of the bird. Just as Noah stretched out his hand to receive the dove and bring her in, so too must we ‘stretch out’ our hand to bring the dove which has come represent peace.

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Biblical text has been, and is, an important and influential part of civilization. Biblical passages have kept commentators busy throughout the ages. A passage relevant 2000 years ago can become of value and be significant even in these modern times. The Bible has played a significant role not only in religious communities, but art, literature, medicine, business and politics are indebted to biblical motif, themes and images.

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Gad- Silk Tie- Twelve Tribes

Gad: was the seventh son of Jacob. His mother was Zilpah, who was Leah’s maid. He was the founder of the tribe of Gad.In the census taken in the second year after the Exodus, the tribe of Gad numbered 46,650 (Numbers 2: 14-15).

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At the time of the second census, there were 40,500 (Numbers 26:18). In the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:19) it is said, “Gad a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last.” In the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:20), it is said, “Blessed is he who enlarges Gad”. “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already”. (Exodus 1, verses 1-5) In the Bible, the Israelites are described as descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28. The Bible contains about two dozen listings of the twelve sons of Jacob and/or tribes of Israel. Some of these are in very brief lists, while others are spread out over several paragraphs or chapters that discuss the distribution of the land or name certain representatives of each tribe, one after another. Once the Israelites completed the conquest of the land of Canaan during the days of Joshua, the twelve tribes split up to their assigned territory. For many years, each tribe was ruled by a series of Judges. At times enemies had to be fought but not all the tribes were united in battle. The tribes hoped to be united as the other nation through leadership of a king. The prophet Samuel, names Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, to be the first king of Israel. After Sauls Short reign Samuel anoints David of the tribe of Judah. Israel was again united under King David, and followed so during the reign of his son King Solomon. Solomon’s son, Reheboam however saw the split of Israel in two- 10 northern tribes making the kingdom of Israel (aka Northern Kingdom) and the other being the Kingdom of Judah, comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When the Assyrian captured the Northern kingdom (tribes) around 720 BCE they disbursed the Israelites among many lands. When the Babylonian captured the Judean kingdom around 680 BCE the tribes of Judah and Benjamin held on to their identity as Judeans. It is said that all Jews descend from these two remaining tribes.

Price: $36.00

Hi Ne Ma Tov Friendship pottery candle holder.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in harmony” The text from Psalm 133 helps us reflect and recall the goodness friendship gives us. Friends are there for us to share with in all occasions.

 

 

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This circle shows friends coming together around a camp fire holding supporting one another and being as one. The feet are in the midst of dance where the bodies rely on one another for support and at the same time are supporting the people on both sides. Tradition is filled with stories and laws that explain how a person should acquire friends and also how to treat other people the way we want to be treated. Tradition teaches that people like to be surrounded by friends. This circle helps remind you of the good fortune you have and receive from the friendships which are built and cherished. When we dance we can be swept off our feet or we can be rooted to the ground. Our friendships take us on amazing explorations and lift us to new heights and keep us focused on the more basic and important values we cherish. The ability to control fire is one of the major developments in the cultural history of man. Fire serves not only as a source of heat, but also of light and protection. Special vessels were constructed out of pottery to hold and cherish this source. Our collection of pottery candles shares both the warmth of the fire through friendship circles and hope for peace.

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Issachar- Silk Tie- Twelve Tribes

Issachar: was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. His mother was Leah, who also gave birth to Reuben, Judah, Simeon, Levi and Zebulun. Issachar is the ancestor of the Tribe of Issachar. When Jacob blessed his sons, in Genesis 49, Issachar was described as a beast of burden who would submit to forced labor. (Genesis 49:14-15). Isaachar’s name is often linked together with Zebulun, his brother.

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In the Song of Deborah, Issachar is mentioned in a favorable light in regards to the tribe’s battles with the Canaanites. One of the Judges of Israel, named Tola, was from the region of Israel that was named after Issachar. During the era in which David was king, the Tribe of Issachar gained a reputation for its wise men. “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already”. (Exodus 1, verses 1-5) In the Bible, the Israelites are described as descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28. The Bible contains about two dozen listings of the twelve sons of Jacob and/or tribes of Israel. Some of these are in very brief lists, while others are spread out over several paragraphs or chapters that discuss the distribution of the land or name certain representatives of each tribe, one after another. Once the Israelites completed the conquest of the land of Canaan during the days of Joshua, the twelve tribes split up to their assigned territory. For many years, each tribe was ruled by a series of Judges. At times enemies had to be fought but not all the tribes were united in battle. The tribes hoped to be united as the other nation through leadership of a king. The prophet Samuel, names Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, to be the first king of Israel. After Sauls Short reign Samuel anoints David of the tribe of Judah. Israel was again united under King David, and followed so during the reign of his son King Solomon. Solomon’s son, Reheboam however saw the split of Israel in two- 10 northern tribes making the kingdom of Israel (aka Northern Kingdom) and the other being the Kingdom of Judah, comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When the Assyrian captured the Northern kingdom (tribes) around 720 BCE they disbursed the Israelites among many lands. When the Babylonian captured the Judean kingdom around 680 BCE the tribes of Judah and Benjamin held on to their identity as Judeans. It is said that all Jews descend from these two remaining tribes.

Price: $36.00

Joseph- Silk Tie- Twelve Tribes

Joseph:Joseph was one of 12 sons of Jacob. He was the first born son of Rachel (Gen 30:22-24).The name Joseph means “May God increase.”
He received preferential treatment which angered his ten older brothers. His brothers faked his death to their father Jacob, and sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelite traders who were on their way to Egypt.

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God gave Joseph the power to interpret dreams, and when the Pharaoh had two disturbing dreams, Joseph was brought before the Pharaoh, and interpreted his dreams, of seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine (Gen 41:8-32).Joseph also suggested how to put this foreknowledge to good use, by storing produce in warehouses. Pharaoh charged Joseph, then at age thirty the rank and authority of a viceroy. When the famine came, it effected Canaan whereupon Jacob sent all his sons, except for Benjamin, to Egypt to buy food. Joseph broke down on seeing his brothers (they did not recognize him at first), gave them food, and eventually had his entire family move to Egypt to live. Jacob’s family of seventy people traveled to Egypt, and multiplied into a few million before Moses led them out. Joseph had two sons by his Egyptian wife (Asenath), Menasheh and Ephraim. Joseph died at age 110, his body was embalmed in Egypt, and his bones returned to Canaan in the Exodus. “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already”. (Exodus 1, verses 1-5) In the Bible, the Israelites are described as descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28. The Bible contains about two dozen listings of the twelve sons of Jacob and/or tribes of Israel. Some of these are in very brief lists, while others are spread out over several paragraphs or chapters that discuss the distribution of the land or name certain representatives of each tribe, one after another. Once the Israelites completed the conquest of the land of Canaan during the days of Joshua, the twelve tribes split up to their assigned territory. For many years, each tribe was ruled by a series of Judges. At times enemies had to be fought but not all the tribes were united in battle. The tribes hoped to be united as the other nation through leadership of a king. The prophet Samuel, names Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, to be the first king of Israel. After Sauls Short reign Samuel anoints David of the tribe of Judah. Israel was again united under King David, and followed so during the reign of his son King Solomon. Solomon’s son, Reheboam however saw the split of Israel in two- 10 northern tribes making the kingdom of Israel (aka Northern Kingdom) and the other being the Kingdom of Judah, comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When the Assyrian captured the Northern kingdom (tribes) around 720 BCE they disbursed the Israelites among many lands. When the Babylonian captured the Judean kingdom around 680 BCE the tribes of Judah and Benjamin held on to their identity as Judeans. It is said that all Jews descend from these two remaining tribes.

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Lekh L’kha The Journey begins

“The Lord said to Avram: go forth from your land, your birthplace and your family, to the land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and magnify your name, and you shall be a source of blessing.  I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you, and all of the nations of the world shall be blessed on your account” (Genesis 12:1-3)

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The Journey of Abram, Sarai, and Lot begins. God told Abram to leave his native land and his father’s house for a land that God would show him, promising to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him. (Genesis 12:1-3) Following God’s command, Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the wealth they had acquired in Haran, and traveled to the Canaan. (Genesis 12:4-6) In the Midrash (stories that explain the Bible) it is said that when Abram was young, he realized that idol worship was foolish. To make his point, one day, when Abram was asked to watch the store on day for his father, after he was alone he took a hammer and smashed all the idols – except for the largest. Later, upon the return of his father, Terach, the father of Abram shouted. “What happened?!” “It was amazing, Dad,” replied Abram. “The idols all got into a fight and the biggest idol won!” There was no way for his father could respond; deep down he knew that Abram had found a greater truth in Monotheism. Many are the hardships that await Avram and Sarai as they begin their trek westwards from Mesopotamia to Canaan, accompanied by Avram’s nephew Lot. Upon reaching the Promised Land, they are almost immediately forced to vacate it, as Canaan is struck with famine. Descending to Egypt where sustenance is to be found, they experience their first of what will amount to numerous confrontations with mercurial and malicious monarchs. By God’s grace, however, they emerge unscathed and return safely to Canaan, to resume their semi-nomadic but prosperous lives as shepherds. But trial upon trial await the two. Lot, the beloved nephew whom they had adopted, chooses to leave them, to establish his camp close to Sodom, only to be later taken captive by an alliance of four marauding eastern kings. Avram marshals his household and gives chase, unexpectedly routing the invading force and rescuing his nephew, who resumes his residency in sinful Sodom.

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