2011 Unveiling our new sign: Ginat haMishnah

We celebrated our second growing season by unveiling a new sign for the Mishnah Garden during Succot. Metal artist Jeff Chyatte created a simple metal sign that graces the corner of the garden for all to visit.


Rabbi Fred along with a few Hebrew scholars discussed the phrasing and issued a Halachic ruling changing the original sign text from the Hebrew Gan Mishnah to the more appropriate Ginat haMishnah. The word Mishnah means to learn or teach. Traditionally, laws were handed down by word of mouth, but after many teachers died in a rebellion against the Romans, the written Mishnah was created so that none of the laws were lost.

 Jeff wanted to capture the essence of the original scripture. The edges are scrolled by heated steel hammering. The lettering was cut not with a straight edge but jagged as the Ten Commandments were burned into the stone tablets. The material is high carbon steel with a rust patina connoting its resolve, surviving through the generations. The rusted steel is consistent with natural progression of materials, drawn from the earth and returning to the earth in an “ashes to ashes” context. The patina implies an urgency that precious things may not last forever. The letters are cut through as what really is important, lies beyond.  Suffice it to say, the Hebrew font left a number of metal shop employees scratching their heads.

Jeff wants to thank the building committee, the congregational farmers, Rabbi Fred and Cantor Rachel and especially Fred Pinkney for his undying devotion to the Mishnah Garden.


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