THE TEMPLE CHALICE

A relief representation of the Chalice used in the Temple appears on shekel coins minted in Jerusalem during the years of the great Judean revolt of 66-70 C.E., when the Roman legionnaires destroyed Jerusalem, burned and sacked the Temple and carried off to Rome its sacred vessels, among them the Chalice used by the High Priest for the ceremony of pouring wine upon the altar.
The artist Menahem Ben Ari Berman undertook the task of recreating the Temple Chalice at the initiative of Prof. Nathan Andre Chouraqui who for a long time has thoroughly studied the physical characteristics of the Temple Chalice and devoted a great deal of attention to discovering the symbolic meaning of its component parts.

The vessel first produced as a result of the joint efforts of Prof. Chouraqui and the artist, is now in the possession of the former.
His views on the tangible and symbolical aspects of the Chalice are presented below: - 

The most prominent feature of the Chalice are its seven distinct levels or gradations which represent the seven days of Creation, and its constituent parts which symbolize the universe and the links connecting heaven and earth.

The square base represent earth a symbol common to the artistic conception of both Jews and Gentiles since the days of antiquity.
The four small legs supporting the base symbolize the roots of the earth penetrating into the abyss upon which the earth floats.
These two levels are symbolical of the first two days of Creation. The third day is indicated by the concave lower part of the stem joining the base to the sphere in the middle of the trunk. The sphere itself symbolizes the heavenly luminaries created on the fourth day.
The fifth day is represented by the upper part of the stem which begins at the sphere and goes up to the Chalice bowl which symbolizes heaven and the sixth day of Creation.
The rim of the Chalice, its uppermost level represents Sabbath, the seventh day on which the Lord rested from his work. It also symbolizes the highest strata of heaven, while the circlet of globes around the base of the rim represent the host of heavenly bodies.

The Chalice when filled with wine symbolizes the mysticism of existence, the secret reason of Creation, known only to Him who reigns over everything his will has brought into being.
The Chalice held by the High Priest during the ritual of Temple services pointed out as it were the union of the heavenly and terrestrial.

THE SHEKEL CHALICE

Formed after the Temple Chalice as appears on Shekel coins minted during the great revolt, the Shekel Chalice has been recreated and produced by the artist in a series of eighteen units, to match the number of globes around the rim of the original Temple Chalice.

Each Chalice of the series is made to order, marked, numbered and signed by the artist.


A few multiples of the Shekel Chalice are still available and will be made to order.
For more information in this matter, please contact the artist.