“Throne of Honor, כסא הכבוד“
10” x 22” x 3”
ink, oil paint on linen canvas
The Hebrew term, ״,כסא הכבוד״ “Kisseh Hakavod,” “Throne of Honor” appears all throughout rabbinic literature. For what we may come to understand, this throne is spiritual in nature, referring to some form of Divine sanctuary or Heavenly court.
A great deal of Jewish mysticism is based on Ezekiel’s vision of the throne and chariot from the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, in his commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, “Book of Formation,” a foundational text on Kabalah, says that the Kiseh Hakavod symbolises The Creator’s merciful interaction with mankind when humanity is authentic about a true reconciliation of off-kiltered actions. This is the place of "tshuva", or "return" in order to re-align with the true source of the soul.
The recipe that the sages assigned into the canon of Jewish prayers to beseech atonement is the verse from Exodus 34:6,7,
“The LORD! the LORD! God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and faithfulness, extending loving kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin."
This quintessential verse is known as the "thirteen Divine attributes of mercy." As the Israelites received atonement for their violation of the "sin of the Golden Calf," so too for all generations, these words are chanted in order to receive atonement. These words form the main focus of prayers on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.
The color blue is often used in Rabbinic literature of midrash to symbolize the Kisseh Hakavod. In this Artwork, the bottom blues and whites represent the ascent of humanity towards Divine reconciliation. The top blues and whites represent the aspects of the Divine that are completely out of reach for human understanding, as well as the Divine will to interact with mankind and the active movement to "come down" and "sit" on the Throne of Honor. The pure white path of black text containing the verse from Exodus represents this Kisseh Hakavod, the meeting place of humanity with the Divine.