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The Carved Wooden Torah Arks of Eastern Europe$
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Bracha Yaniv

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764371

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764371.001.0001

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The Kingdom of God in the Little Sanctuary

The Kingdom of God in the Little Sanctuary

(p.77) Chapter Four The Kingdom of God in the Little Sanctuary
The Carved Wooden Torah Arks of Eastern Europe

Bracha Yaniv

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses whether the visual manifestation of the Torah ark as the Throne of Glory symbolizes God's presence and analyses the base and the upper section of the ark. It examines arks that have a tall, architectonic design and comprise several tiers that are set upon a raised, 120-cm-high platform with railings on either side. It also analyses the elevation of the ark by means of a platform or the ark's soaring, tiered structure that is in contradistinction to the bimah in the centre of the prayer hall. The chapter emphasizes how the elevated ark creates a competing architectural focus that serves no practical purpose. It describes the top of the ark as a representation of God that takes the form of a cartouche with the Tetragrammaton inscribed upon it and a freestanding eagle that is naturalistically sculpted in relief.

Keywords:   Torah ark, Throne of Glory, architectonic design, bimah, prayer hall, cartouche, Tetragrammaton

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