Monday, October 03, 2016

Moses At Yosemite

We walked over to Temple Sherith Israel for Rosh Hashanah services today with my son and his family.  This is a large and beautiful old synagogue.

While I looked at the stained glass window of Moses and the ten commandments, my brain blinked as it seemed to recognize Half Dome and El Capitan.

It wasn't appropriate to take pictures during the services, 
so this image is from the temple's website.  It's only part of the window.

Later I read more about the window on the Temple Sherith Israel website:
"West window: This dramatic work, "Moses Presented the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel," was designed by Paris-trained artist Emile Pissis, brother of architect Albert Pissis. Emile created a movie-star handsome Moses, red robe flowing, surrounded by vibrant tribal flags and the Hebrew people. But instead of standing at Sinai, the Jewish people are gathered on granite rocks at the gateway to Yosemite, Half Dome and El Capitan in the distance. This is a modern Moses, and California is the Promised Land. . .
The identity of the glass artist/s was unknown until congregants Joan Libman and Ian Berke discovered an invoice for $1,100 made out to Emile Pissis. Emile, who frequently painted scenes of Yosemite, designed the Moses window on the west wall and seven other windows in the sanctuary."
The building was consecrated on September 24, 1905, and for those who know their history, the big San Francisco earthquake hit seven months later on April 18,1906.  But the building sustained only slight damage, and none in the 1989 earthquake.  But it's recently been undergoing architectural strengthening required by the City of San Francisco.

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