09 November 2011

Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing: How the New Synagogue in Mainz Has Its Cake and Eats It Too

Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing: How the New Synagogue in Mainz Has Its Cake and Eats It Too, by Gavriel Rosenfeld (Jewish Daily Forward, 29 September 2010)

Excerpt:
The construction of a new synagogue is always an occasion for celebration, so it was with particular pomp that the Rhineland city of Mainz recently dedicated its new synagogue and Jewish community center. The dedication ceremonies, held September 3, featured an array of German politicians, including German President Christian Wulff. Many of them blessed the new building and underscored its symbolic significance. Yet, while the synagogue received its share of blessings, it also gave physical expression to them in its architectural form. Designed by the German-Jewish architect Manuel Herz, Mainz’s striking new synagogue complex traces its inspiration back to the third “blessing” in the Amidah — the Kedusha. The connection between the word and the synagogue’s appearance is not immediately obvious. But Herz’s drawings for the building reveal that its sawtooth form partly derives from the jagged pattern produced by the word’s five Hebrew letters: kuf, daled, vav, shin and hay.
Link: Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing: How the New Synagogue in Mainz Has Its Cake and Eats It Too



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