Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Holy Family Angels

Driving down 13th Street today the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church caught my eye because I saw that one of its many carved panels depicts a menorah. What, I said to myself, I've never noticed a synagogue there before. What was the menorah doing on that church, I'm sure there's a very good reason it's just beyond my scope of knowledge at this point in time. I know enough to know that Jesus was a Jew, a Rabbi, so no doubt he went around a menorah from time to time.

Once I stopped to investigate I got really carried away taking pictures of all the beautiful carvings on this church. It has many many gorgeously varied botanical elements. I took pictures there for a while. The image above shows 2 angels on either side of a cross. Other panels show angels surrounding a cross within a circle. It is my understanding that this probably refers to Ezekial's wheel, which some know as the tetramorph, a wheel of fire and wings and radiance containing within it 4 figures, a man, an eagle, a bull and a lion. To read Ezekial's account of what he saw is confounding for me, I find it very hard to make sense of. It renders an image similar to Picasso's Demoiselles D'avignon sans boobs, with an abundance of wings, hooves and hands. If you want to give it a whirl, look up Ezekiel 1:1, 4-14, and hang on you will be visually challenged just like those first individuals ever treated to cubism.

Hey, if that rainbow in the upper right is the Holy Spirit, then we have ourselves a genuine Park Slope miracle. It is such a gorgeous display of the spectrum. I promise you I didn't do that in Photoshop. But I know what my skeptic friends would say, that's just some play of light on the lens.

Below, the tetramorph figures nicely framed in their own little arches for our viewing convenience. I believe they correspond to the various gospels. Others would know much more than I about that.

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