Shabbat Ha-Gadol is the Shabbat before Pesach (Passover). Traditionally, this was one of the few times of the year that a rabbi gave a lengthy sermon (in modern times, we get one every week). The sermon was usually about preparations for Pesach, and this special Shabbat commemorates a preparation for the original Pesach in Egypt. Shabbat Ha-Gadol (The Great Sabbath) commemorates the 10th day of Nissan, when the Hebrew slaves took the lambs that they were going to offer for Pesach and tied them up outside their homes, to keep until they offered it on the 14th (Ex. 12:3-6). According to tradition, this was a dangerous thing to do, because Egyptians worshipped sheep, but miraculously, instead of slaughtering the Hebrews, the Egyptians instead fought with each other over whether the Hebrews should be sent away already.
If we are going to have a Shabbat Gadol (big sabbath) we may as well feature the art of a BIG ARTIST. In the U.S.A. Gary Rosenthal is likely the most well known maker of Judaica.
Gary Rosenthal has been sculpting in welded metals for almost 30 years. Together with a team of talented craftspeople, he creates one of the most popular and unique lines of Judaic art in the country: The Gary Rosenthal Collection. Combining copper, brass, and steel with brilliant fused glass, the collection has a contemporary style rooted in tradition. Inspiration comes from the rich history of the Jewish people, which tells us it's a blessing, a mitzvah, to make beautiful functional art. Work from the Gary Rosenthal Collection has been presented to Presidents from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, and to celebrities as varied as Bette Midler, John Travolta, and Tony Randall. The Collection can be found throughout the world in many fine galleries, private collections, and the following museum shops: Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass, American Craft Museum, B'nai B'rith Museum, The Jewish Museum, Skirball Museum of Culture, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Here are two of his custom pieces a ner tamid and synagogue tzedakah box.
And Mom- this post is for you!!!!