Click here to see a "really exuberant work of art" - a mural of the "Ten Commandments and a throne supported by two lions of Judah" painted by Ben Zion Black.
Yesterday's State Department briefing gives us pause to relect on the power of words, as most of the briefing was devoted to the use of the word "apartheid."
MS. PSAKI: I think it’s very important, as we all know, that the use of
the word, the way that people interpret the word – the power of words – is a
major factor here.
Allen West asks, "Hey, Sec. Kerry. If Israel is an apartheid state, how come Arabs serve in the Knesset?"
It is related in the Prophets (Kings I, 6:1) that King Solomon began the building of the First Temple “in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the House of G-d.” The Radak explains: “The month Ziv is the month of Iyar… and it is called Ziv, as our sages explain, because of the splendor of the trees, namely the brilliance of the flowers and buds.” Ziv means “splendor” or “brilliance.” In this month of “brilliance” King Solomon “began to build the House of G-d.
The two names of the second month of the Hebrew calendar are Iyar and Ziv. Both are related to light. Iyar (אִיָיר ) is cognate to the word “light” (אוֹר ). Ziv (זִיו ), which means “splendor” or “brilliance,” is one of the 13 synonyms for light in Hebrew. Both names allude to the special light that shines in this second month of the Jewish calendar.
Wishing you a good Chodesh.