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Shaarey Tzedek Gates of Righteousness

"Open to me the Gates of Righteousness…"
   (…that I may enter to praise Adonai)
- Hallel service, Psalm 118:20

In the last service on the day of Yom Kippur, the Neilah service begins: Open unto us the gate At the gate's closing time, for the day is almost over.
The day is passing fast, the sun is going home and setting, do let us enter Your gates.

The tradition teaches that prayer enters heaven through the gates of compassion. On Yom Kippur, these gates stay open throughout the day to accept Israel's repentance. The final twilight service on this day, called Neilah, literally "closing," coincides with the setting of the sun and the closing of the Temple gates in ancient times to mark the end of Yom Kippur. In time, this image became a powerful symbol of human repentance and divine compassion, investing the Neilah service with a special solemnity. These gates, slightly open, have often been depicted in Jewish are as symbols of teshuvah.

"The color of the High Holy Days is white. Torah curtain, Torah mantles, all coverings are white…white is the color of purity, toward which we should aspire." The Complete Book of Jewish Observance, by Leo Trepp

The Golden Gate to the city of Jerusalem is located on the eastern wall of the old city. It was open until 1187 when it was sealed until (as tradition has it) the day that the messiah will ride through it.

Arabesque is the style of decorative design that was developed and used in texts and on synagogues during the Golden Age of Spain (under Moorish influence). The intricate, unending designs allowed for an intermingling of text and a beautifying of space without breaking the second commandment, which prohibits the creation of "graven images".


Elijah's Chair
Dedicated at Congregation Neveh Shalom, 1993
Size: 33" x 22" x 13"

Needlepoint on canvas and Silk


Table covering
Shabbat Blessings
Congregation B'nai Israel
Gainesville, Florida

Ben Gavra
A Ben Gavra is the special decorative covering, which is placed over the Torah between aliyot.

Reader's Table
Reader's table covers in sharrey tzedek and separate with the leaf design.


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