A Jerusalem area synagogue is holding a calligraphy exhibit featuring works by Avraham-Hersh Borshevsky, the Israeli artist who created what the 2009 Guiness Book of World's Records is calling the world's largest mezuzah.
Mordechai Beck, another one of the artists featured in the exhibit and a member of the Kehilat Yedidya synagogue, was interviewed on Israel National Radio's Walter's World about the mezuzah and other works. Beck said that although an art exhibit in a synagogue may seem unusual, Kehilat Yedidya uses art and Judaism to try and bridge the gaps between Jews and their fellow Jews as well as between Jews and non-Jews. To listen to the interview, view the player or click here for the mp3 download. The interview can be found halfway into the program.
Borshevsky's "Hebrew illuminated manuscripts", as he calls them, are among the works displayed at Yedidya. His mezuzah will not be displayed however, but his colorfully illustrated megillah scrolls and ketubot marriage certificates will be displayed.
Borshevsky hand wrote the Torah passages in his mezuzah on a piece of parchment which measures 94 centimeters or 3 feet one inch long and 76 centimeters or 2 feet six inches wide. The mezuzah case is 110 centimeters long, just over three feet and seven inches.
A mezuzah is a small box with a scroll of Torah verses which Jews affix to door frames in order to fulfill the Biblical commandment to inscribe the words of the Shema Yisrael prayer "on the doorposts of your house." A standard mezuzah consists of two written excerpts from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21, hand written on a single piece of parchment. Borshevsky's mezuah does as well and is considered completely kosher by strict l'mehadrin standards. A mezuzah is afixed on the doorposts of every Jewish home as commanded in the Torah.
The calligraphy exhibition is at Kehilat Yedidya Synagogue, 12 Lifshitz Street in the Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem. The exhibit will be held until the middle of December. For more information call, in Israel 02-679-0540.
Walter's World is an audio magazine style program in which Walter Bingham travels all over Israel and the Jewish world to bring in-depth interviews. Topics range from cultural happenings to major political events recorded live on the spot. Plus your calls, emails and instant messages live on the air. It airs live every Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio. His archive can be found here.