Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture

Added November 6, 1017

In researching the best location for the ephemera of Arnold’s career in architecture,  Judaic, and other creative endeavors, I contacted Ori Soltes ( In addition to agreeing to be a reference for Arnold’s work, Ori told me that he had included Arnold’s omer counter in his newest book. I have included his text about the omer counter, which is so eloquent.

Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture by Ori Z. Soltes Jul 19, 2016

Includes Arnold’s omer counter: The Time’Til Sinai

With the following text:

“The principle of creatively blurring ceremonial objects and fine art is also exemplified by a work that counts down the time between Passover and Shavuot—between the departure from Egypt and receiving of the Ten Commandments at Sinai—created in 1997 by Russian-born Knoxville Judaica artist Arnold Schwarzbart (1942-2015). To the untutored eye, this 14”h by 18”w slightly curved clay work—through which 7 bronze rods pass, hung with small copper triangles, and with a repousse gold backdrop—would surely present itself as an attractive abstract table sculpture (FIG 592). But its function is to mark the seven weeks between the second day of Passover and Shavuot; its division into seven sevens—the triangles are shifted one each day, from side to side of the bronze rods—its gold embossed with 49 pairs of Hebrew letters as a reminder of the obligation for the Jewish mystic to meditate on each of those days as s/he prepares him/herself for the Sinai moment. Thus the work—a distinctive multi-media semi-abstract sculpture called “The Time “Til Sinai”—is, in fact, a functional omer counter.”

Author: Mary Linda Schwarzbart

Mary Linda Schwarzbart has been described as the full-time unpaid curator of the work of Arnold Schwarzbart, z"l. She is also a business and grant consultant.

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