A Commission for HaShem

Some people get “the calling” when it comes to doing something for G_d (HaShem). Me, I usually get an email, and same goes for my latest commission for HaShem.

I got an email a couple of weeks ago from one of my favorite Rabbis; Rabbi Zalman Bluming, who is the Chabad Rabbi for Chapel Hill / Durham, North Carolina. The first time I meet Rabbi Zalman a spark went off in my soul, and I knew that I wanted to be a Hassid just like him, and we became good friends.

So Rabbi Zalman emailed me, and asked me if I would be interested in making a portable Aron Kodesh for the upcoming High Holidays.  So if you don’t know, an Aron Kodesh is: The Torah ark or ark in a synagogue (Jewish house of worship) is known in Hebrew as the Aron Kodesh. It is generally a receptacle, or ornamental closet, which contains each synagogue’s Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah in Hebrew).Normally, an Aron Kodesh is fairly large, and is a permanent part of the synagogue, but sometimes you need an Aron Kodesh that can be transported from one place to another, and usually only holds one Sefer Torah.

Unlike the Blues Brothers were on a mission from G_d, I got a commission for G_d. I guess it is kinda like the bumper sticker that says, “The J-man saves, but Moses invests!” Anyway, I am not one who would turn down a commission for HaShem, and I bumped another project so I could do this for Rabbi Zalman.

So today, I drew up my plans in my notebook, (because I don’t need no stinkin’ Sketch-up) and got to work making the carcass parts and getting the carcass assembled.  I used walnut veneer plywood for the carcass, and assembled it with biscuits and pocket screws, couldn’t be easier.  Next, I will add a solid wood face frame and start work on the doors.

The Assembled carcass

This is one of those projects that I need to work quickly to keep the costs down, but an Aron Kodesh needs to be more than a plain box with doors, so I have an idea to create something special for the top. I want to make the top look like Mount Sinai with the ten commandment stones at the top. I hate to be a tease, but I’ll talk more about this in a later post.

Overall, this should be fun project, and I like doing work for a good cause. I get to do what I enjoy, and I know that I am doing a mitzvah, and will be part of a mitzvah for many years to come they use the Aron Kodesh that I made.

More coming soon,

Yonkle the furniture maker

About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in In Yaakov's Workshop and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Commission for HaShem

  1. Lazy Larry says:

    You get such interesting commissions…

  2. Paul says:

    C’mon Yaakov – what’s a Yonkle? I’m only guessing at the moment. Google was not much help. Thanks for your other links and meanings, in your post, to help me across the cultural divide. I’m looking forward to seeing more on your Aron Kodesh build.


    • yaakov says:

      In english, Yaakov is Jacob, and in Yiddish, Yaakov is Yonkle! Rabbi Zalman would call me Yonkle the ________ for whatever the occasion suited.

      Thanks for reading!


  3. Morning Yaakov, Your work continues to encourage me to get back to mine. Been out of the country for six weeks, couldn’t even take carving knives. Bummer. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the aron kodesh. My first thought when reading about the top was, “How big is that going to look?” Interested in how you are going to work that out. Shalom, John

  4. Paul says:

    Thanks, Yaakov. I was wondering. One of the few Google items I turned up was Yonkle the Jewish Cowboy a music score from a comic strip written around 1907. Together with the “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” link……..well, I just had no idea.

    Thanks for your blog and thanks for sharing it with the world (and me). You certainly make interesting items.



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