The Book of Remembrance Ark


This portable ark, which was commissioned specially for High Holiday use, is inspired by the “u-n’taneh tokef” prayer that is inserted into the cantor’s recitation of the Amidah on the High Holidays: “You open the Book of Remembrance, and it speaks for itself, for every person has signed it with that person’s deeds.” It is the record of our performance that forms the basis for what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. The book is illustrated with a textured interplay of symbolic incised “signatures”, using diverse colors to reflect how each of us brings our own distinctive character into play, and providing a positive reminder to show how our past performance can reflect proud accomplishments and traits from which we wish to continue to draw strength. The visual image also represents the Book of Life in which we hope to be inscribed in the coming year.

The Hebrew inscription: “Zachreinu l’chayim”—means “Remember Us for Life”, a phrase that appears in each Amidah throughout the High Holidays. The doors are bordered by art deco columns whose botanical stem designs are topped by scalloped forms that allude to the shofars that are used on the High Holidays.