One reason why we might have the tendency to see the artwork at OTS as a "hybrid," may be due to our own ignorance of Christian origins. We would do well to bear in mind that the first Christians were, in fact, Jews. The art imagery at Orthodox Temple Shop reminds us of this fact.
So, what do we actually see in the artwork at OTS? Menorahs, Mogen Davids, Greek and Russian Crosses, a Cross-like diagram of the Kabbalistic “Ten Sephiroth,” various arrangements of Hebrew letters, quotations from the Jewish Bible…nothing too shocking. But then, there are those very un-Jewish images of persons—in particular, of Jesus Christ (Yeshua haMashiach) and the Prophet Elijah (Eliyahu haNabi). Why un-Jewish? Because the Ten Commandments explicitly prohibit “graven images,” right? “Well, yes and no,” says Yaqariel B. Copeland, creator of OTS’s Eastern Orthodox Judaica.
Though graven images are prohibited in the Ten Commandments, they are also commanded in the Torah. Anyone who has seen “Raiders of the Lost Ark” will know that two graven images of winged, angelic creatures were placed on the Ark of the Covenant, and this was done at God’s command. So, why the contradiction?
It is rather strange, isn’t it? The God of Israel prohibits images on the one hand, and commands them, on the other. An obvious editorial mistake. Or, just maybe, a clever way to make us pause to question our own assumptions.
One of the images found at OTS, is an image of Christ wearing a Tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl) and bearing a scroll, not of the Torah, but of the “BaSaR”—the Hebrew spelling of which can either mean “Gospel” or “Flesh,” according to Yaqariel B. Copeland. The Orthodox Christian Gospel, or “Good News,” is that the God of Israel shared in the flesh of our humanity which, according to Genesis, is created in the image of God. Thus, God became “image-able”
So who would want to visit the Orthodox Temple Shop? Well, if you are a Messianic Jew or an Orthodox Christian, or if you know someone who is, you may want to purchase a mug, a T-shirt, a camcorder, a magnet, or the like which bears a graphic image signifying the purported unity of ancient Judaism and Orthodox Christianity. Maybe you’re just curious to see what this artwork is all about. If you do happen to visit the Orthodox Temple Shop at www.cafepress.com/
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Orthodox Temple Shop is where you can purchase gifts, electronics, household items, magnets, mugs, T-shirts, jackets, etc., bearing graphic, mystical art displaying the unity of ancient Judaism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity in both word and image.