Temple Israel’s sanctuary, designed by Efrem Weitzman, reflects the two covenants found in the Torah. The first, between God and Noah, is symbolized by the rainbow-hued stained glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary. When the waters of the flood subsided, God caused a rainbow to appear, as a sign that humanity would never again be destroyed by flood; “I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of covenant between Me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13).
The Ark, and the brightly colored tapestry of the sanctuary, reflect the sacred covenant between God and the people of Israel, entered into at Sinai.
- When the Israelites constructed an Ark of Testimony to be carried with them through the wilderness; “the screen of the gate of enclosure, done in embroidery, was of blue, purple and crimson yarns” (Exodus 38:18).
- The thirty foot high, freestanding structure is surrounded by exterior gates of filigreed metal to suggest both the Ark of Testimony, carried through the wilderness accompanied by a column of cloud by day, and fire by night (Exodus 40) and the Solomonic Temple of Jerusalem (I Kings 7).
- The rock supporting the Torah was actually quarried from the mountains of the Sinai Desert.
- The words “God is my Rock and my Salvation” (Psalm 18) gird the midsection of our sacred Ark.