Olney Kehila Torah Ark
Portable Torah Ark Made for the Olney Kehila of Olney and Sany Spring, Maryland.
The choice of materials was based upon the area in which the Congregation lives. Just north of the Sandy Spring is a 300-year old Ash tree; a “giant of the forest” just down Meeting House Road. The Sycamore was chosen at first for the iridescent quality that it can take on when sawn and finished properly. The intention is to evoke any number of passages in the Scroll; as light glints off of the flecks in the wood one may think of the burning bush, “Let there be Light”, or the light and guidance that the Word of GD provides.
The door panels are cut in the traditional tablet shape – I do not think that any explanation is needed there. The inside back is covered with “bricks” of Sycamore intended to remind the viewer of the Western Wall.
Additionally, American Sycamore grows abundantly in this region. Given the Sycamore’s propensity for becoming immense and frequently hollow trees, they have been used as landmarks and as shelter for natives, colonists, and slaves fleeing from bondage.
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