Stones of Heavens

Stein Atle Vere. ©2011. Brakha, "Stones of Heavens". brakha.blogspot.com.

The entries of my title “Stones of Heaven” אבני שמים investigate the archeology of ancient gems.

This title spins off from the title “Word of Tora” מלת תורה. I initiate these investigations to clarify the identity of certain Hebrew gem names. The task proves extensive.

These precious stones so entwine with ancient spirituality, they deserve their own space where people can explore them. The Tanakh (Jewish Bible) evokes gems to communicate the bliss, power, joy, enlightenment, and desirability that their visions of God know. Kabala (Jewish mysticism) celebrates the gemmy discussion.

Gems resonate an archetype. The stones are raw physical reality that humans transform by great effort and ingenuity into ideals of power and pleasure. Even immortality. I choose to call the title the “Stones of Heaven” rather than the “Gems of Heaven”. First, it is accurate enough. The Tanakh simply calls gems “stones” אבנים . Yet the juxtaposition of the “Stone” of “Heavens” emphasizes the archetype of the mundane reality becoming absolute ideal without ever ceasing to be real. It is Heaven and Earth becoming one. The fulfillment of unceasing desire.

I focus on the gems that flow thru the Land of Yisrael, but its traderoutes link the edges of the known world to places like todays Spain and India. Where curious, I note the way cultures use gems, and the semantic meanings that these gems communicate.

There is a language of stones.


Word of Tora

Stein Atle Vere. ©2011. Brakha, "Word of Tora". brakha.blogspot.com.

When translating an ancient text, I often investigate the precise meanings of certain Hebrew words and their equivalents in other languages. The words are significant because they define central concepts or else are of uncertain meaning, or sometimes both. These excursions distract me from the task at hand, but fascinate. I document them under “Word of Tora” מלת תורה . Later, I hope to systemize these entries.