Israeli Jewelry made from Ancient Stone
Traditional high-end jewelry is made from gold, diamonds and other precious gems. Throughout the centuries there have also been trends in which haute couture jewelry incorporated other materials such as glass, bone or fabric. In an exciting endeavor to combine ancient and modern, leading Israeli handmade jewelry artists have begun to blend gold and diamonds with ancient stones.
The stone is called Moriah stone and it originates from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel. The Temple Mount is one of the holiest sites in the world and is sacred to the Christians, Muslims and Jews.
According to the Jewish faith, God created the world as we know it from the “Foundation Stone”, a rock located at the highest point of mount Moriah, the mountain upon which the Temple Mount was built (today, the Foundation Stone is at the center of the al-Aksa mosque).
Many biblical events also took place on Temple Mount including Abraham’s Binding of Isaac and Jacob’s dream.
In the year 1000 B CE, the Jewish king Solomon began building the First Jewish Temple on Temple Mount. The Temple was subsequently destroyed by the Persian Empire in 586 BCE. In 516 BCE a Second Jewish Temple was constructed and it was destroyed by the Roman empire in 70 CE.
After the year 70 CE, the Temple Mount switched many hands. It was ruled by different Roman, Christian and Muslim leaders. In 1516 it was conquered by the Ottoman empire who ruled the region for almost 400 years.
After the First World War, the British Empire controlled the area until 1948. The Temple Mount is currently managed by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust backed by the Kingdom of Jordan. The Temple Mount at large is considered part of the State of Israel.
With such a rich history, the Temple Mount is one of the most concentrated archeological sites in the world, yet for because of political reasons it was never archaeologically excavated. However, in 1999 the Waqf authorized the construction on a new mosque and disposed of over 9,000 tones of dirt mixed with invaluable archaeological artifacts.
This earth later made its way to the Temple Mount Sifting ProjectTemple Mount Sifting Project, an archeological endeavor in which the debris is sorted. Over the pasts decade, the Temple Mount Sifting Project has made many exciting archeological discoveries including seals, coins and arrowhead s. These discoveries have shed light on daily life on the Temple Mount throughout the centuries.
One of the founders of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, Mr. Avi Tavisal, is also a leading Israeli jewelry artist. When he participated in the excavations, he was moved by the salvaged Moriah stone. Through the stone he could connect to the history of Jerusalem and the enormous emotional value which the city holds in his heart.
He therefore decided to create an entirely new line of Israeli handmade jewelry called the Moriah Collection.
The collection includes a wide variety of pieces – including faith jewelry for Christians, Muslims and Jews. It also has museum pieces that commemorate famous biblical events.
What is unique about the collection is that it takes Israeli handmade jewelry to the next level. Beyond being a beautiful piece of high-end jewelry, the collection enables wearers to take a piece of Jerusalem with them wherever they go. People who chose to wear Moriah jewelry have a deep emotional connection to jewelry because of what the Temple Mount means to them.
For many Christians, the Temple Mount is the place where Jesus spent time as a child and also as a young leader. It is the place where he issued his challenge against the Jewish Temple authorities and accused them of corruption.
He criticized the fact that one of the Temple gates was used for trade and attempted to drive away merchants and moneychangers from its vicinity. This resistance, among other acts, led to his arrest and eventual crucifixion by the Romans.
In the Muslim faith the Temple Mount is the third holiest site after the cities of Mecca and Medina. According to Islamic scriptures the Prophet Muhammad travelled from the Great Mosque in Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Night Journey which took place around the year 621 CE.
Muhammad travelled on a winged horse-like creature known as Buraq and when he arrived, he met Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets and led them in prayer. After this, Muhammad ascended to the heavens.
The Temple Mount is the holiest place for the Jewish people. The periods in which the two Holy Temples stood represent the golden age of Jewish history since it is believed that God’s spirit resided within the Temples and Jewish worship was at its highest spiritual level. Jews also believe that a Third Holy Temple will be built on the Temple Mount and this Third Temple will be the source of salvation for the entire world.
On a different level, all Jewish people pray in the direction of the Temple Mount as a display of their yearning to return to Jerusalem.
In summary, select Israeli handmade jewelry now incorporates Moriah stone. These beautiful pieces elevate Israeli jewelry to an emotional plane and enable wearers to express their connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.