The Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life) Shtender

I recently posted about the “Hidden Synagogue.” This post has been immensely popular, given the beauty and uniqueness of the artwork it showcases.  Thanks to reader Stephen Levinson who left me a comment at that entry, I have another wondrous thing to share with you.

The Yiddish word “shtender” (שטענדער) literally means a “stander,” but most people would know one as a “lectern.” As a child, I first saw one in the public library, being used to hold up Webster’s large dictionaries.

Traditional Shtender

Shtenders are very popular in yeshivot (jewish institutes of religious learning), and they can be tall, as above, or smaller, to fit on a desk.


Now, thanks to Stephen, I am aware of another piece of mind-bending craftsmanship and faith, the Tree of Life Shtender.

When I watched this video, I first thought, “Nice concept, but it’s just 3D graphics.”

Wrong. It’s the real McCoy, kinder. Every object you see in the shtender is real, and the whole is beautifully carved.



The Tree of Life shtender


The Sabbath Candelabra

An 18-year collaborative work of art between David Moss and artist Noah Greenberg, a number of these beauties have been created and placed in museums, synagogues, and private homes.

Moss himself has described his work in far better detail than I ever could – click through for his explanations; another website on the topic can be found at Bezalel Editions.

Items like this are the product of immense love and devotion, not to mention painstaking craftsmanship. I am pleased to share them with my readership.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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