Our sanctuary windows were conceptualized by Temple Beit HaYam’s first spiritual leader Rabbi Jonathan Kendall z”l, and executed by our interior design team of Ana Greene and Mary Goldin. The windows represent the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. Life-giving water runs throughout the five panels, reflecting the name of our congregation, Beit HaYam, “The House of the Sea”. The windows are arranged, as Hebrew is written, from right to left.
Deuterotomy. A torah scroll in the top ring unravels to the bottom. The names of the holidays and the daily prayer services spiral down the window. In the bottom panel are the words from Deuterotomy calling Israel “A land flowing with milk and honey,” and declaring, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. You shall love [the Lord your God]” (Deut. 6:3-5)
Numbers. The upper ring shows a tent of the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness. It is connected by a ribbon to our own temple building in the bottom panel. The texts speak of the sanctity of the synagogue: “How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwellings, O Israel” (Num 24:5), and “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:7).
Leviticus. This book contains many of the laws that define our relationships to others and with God. The bottom quotation is, “Be holy for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2). The middle panel contains the Thirteen Attributes of God’s Mercy that are sung during the Torah reading service on the High Holy Days and on the festivals.
Exodus. The upper ring shows Mount Sinai as a mountain pierced by lightening with an Egyptian pyramid in the background. The names of the tribes of Israel- the twelve sons of Jacob- flow from a river. At the bottom, the tablets of the Ten Commandments appear with the words, “God said to Moses, “I Am What I Am”.
Genesis. The upper ring is an abstraction representing the chaos and order of creation. The names of the patriarchs and matriarchs- Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah- are on the ribbon that flows down the window. In the bottom panel, a quotation from Genesis reads, “No longer will your name be called Jacob, but rather Israel” (Gen 32:29).