Kurt J. Matzdorf's Torah Ornaments: Modern Interpretations of Traditional Symbols
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Torah ornaments such as this Torah breastplate (Hebrew: tas), and the Torah finials (Hebrew: rimonim) express the great respect and honor given to the Torah scroll. A Torah scroll is only uncovered for the reading in the synagogue, and is otherwise clothed in an often elaborately embroidered mantle. Indeed, the Torah is the divine revelation to the nation of Israel and is considered the word of God.
Silver, Gold, and Acrylic
The creator of these works of art, Kurt J. Matzdorf, is an artist known for his modern interpretations. He broke new ground not only in form, but also in his choice of materials. Alongside the classic materials of silver and gold, he used colored acrylic for his Judaica. Notwithstanding this contemporary approach, Matzdorf frequently incorporates traditional symbols as he does here. The nation of Israel has twelve tribes, each with its own emblem, such as a basket for the tribe of Levi. Matzdorf also used the symbol of a stylized pomegranate. The pomegranate symbolizes life and fertility in Judaism and the Hebrew word for the Torah finials stems from the Hebrew for pomegranate, rimon.