The Chagall Stained Glass windows at Ein Karem

Naftali-Marc Chagall

Naftali – Marc Chagall

The Synagogue of the Hadassah Medical Center Hebrew University in West Jerusalem was inaugurated on February 6th, 1962.

It contains the twelve magnificent stained glass windows, created by Marc Chagall.

Marc Chagall donated those windows to the Hadassah Hospital. The only thing he requested was compensation for the cost of materials, the labor specialist Simon Atelier of Reims and expenses relating to the artwork.

When it was decided to request Marc Chagall to paint the stained glass windows, a delegation travelled from Jerusalem to Paris to meet with the famous Jewish French artist. The great violinist Isaac Stern was aboard the same plane and joined the delegation in its cause.

Asher - Marc Chagall

Asher – Marc Chagall

Levy - Marc Chagall

Levy – Marc Chagall

 

 

During the two hours of this remarkable visit, Mrs. Chagall revealed that her husband had always hoped to be approached by the Jewish People one day. The answer of the delegation was:                                                     

 “This is the opportunity to work for posterity and create an unbreakable bond between you and the Jewish people.”    

During the last thirty years of his life, Chagall’s artworks were mainly inspired by the Bible.

Marc chagall photo

Marc Chagall

“I felt while working, that my father and my mother were watching over my shoulder and behind them millions of Jewish people”. 

It took Chagall two years to design, develop and execute the twelve stained glass windows for the Synagogue. They symbolize the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel originate.                                                   

Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Gad

                                               Judah, Zebulon, Issachar, Naftali,

                                                                                                              Levy, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin

Naphali, Joseph, Benjamin - Marc Chagall

Naphali, Joseph, Benjamin – Marc Chagall

How can one not be carried away by these vibrant colors of red, green, yellow and blue, and the animals, flowers and trees? As required by Jewish tradition, there is no human figure but only biblical symbols like :

                                                  The Torah              Star of David                    The Menorah

                                          Hebrew letters          The Horn of ram      The Protective Hands

Judah, Zebulon, Issachar - Marc Chagall

Judah, Zebulon, Issachar – Marc Chagall

 

 

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