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's Archive for November, 2009

Origin of the Rites and Worship of the Hebrews

At the center of a large architectural edifice, a man contemplates “the terrestrial globe bursting forth from the midst of clouds and receiving luminous emanations from the Most High.” Around this image is a fantastically elaborate array of niches containing narrative scenes, friezes and frames enclosing blocks of text, rows of figures, Kabbalistic symbols and programs, Zodiac signs, and divine names. Beneath, in Hebrew and English, is the title “Origin of the Rites and Worship of the Hebrews”. The work was reproduced and published for the American public in 1859 together with an “Explication”, a one hundred twelve page explanatory booklet translated from the original French, 3 by Max Wolff, rabbi of Ohabei Shalom Congregation in Boston, who later served as a cantor in San Francisco.

Counting and Recounting

According to the biblical commandment, the days and the weeks between the second day of Passover, when an Omer (a sheaf, or measure of grain) from the new barley harvest is brought to the Temple, until the festival of Shavuot, must be numbered.