Diamonds and Gemstones in Judaica by Rabbi Zvi Ilani, Rabbi Yitzhak Goldberg, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberger
Hardcover with DJ
18 x 22 cm.
Publisher: Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum
A Selective Anthology from the Scriptures, the Mishna, the Talmud, Midrashim, and Responsa Literature This book is the first attempt to explore the ancient relationship between precious gems and the Jewish tradition. Research on diamonds and precious stones, identification of different types of gems, the powers deriving from their exceptional and physiological properties, the utility of precious gems as ornamentation and decoration for secular as well as ritual purposes, their processing and commerce all hold a prominent place in the diverse Jewish literature which has evolved during the 3,000 year period of Jewish history from the Biblical era to the present. The book is divided into two parts. The first is Aggadic, including excerpts and commentaries from the Bible, the Midrash, the Mishna, and the Talmud, describing the varieties and identifying each of the precious gems. Special attention is given to the gemstones of the Breastplate and Vest (Ephod) and their relationship to the twelve tribes of Israel, their unique characteristics, the process of inlaying gems in jewelry and other possessions in various periods throughout Jewish history, and the legends, parables, and laws connected to diamonds and other precious stones. The second part of the book is a collection of the “Halachic” literature drawn from the Responsa (questions and answers written by the Sages of Israel throughout the generations.) These Responsa deal with various legal problems characteristic of the diamond industry. Such problems have occupied Rabbinic Courts of law and arbitration from the inception of the diamond trade, becoming widespread among Jews about 400 years ago and remaining so today. Many beautiful color photographs, along with drawings, accompany the text.