Featured Windows, July 2000
Temple Beth El Window
Building: Temple Beth El
City: Bloomfield Hills
These windows are part of a series that illustrate the Ten Commandments
These three windows are part of a series of windows that illustrate the Ten Commandments.
The first window represents the Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." It depicts an angry Moses, ready to smash the tablet that holds the Ten Commandments, as he realizes that his people have begun worshipping a golden calf, while he was on Mount Sinai receiving the Commandments.
The second window represents the Commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." It portrays Ruth, who is regarded as the epitome of fidelity, holding sheaves of wheat from the fields behind her. Following the death of her husband Boaz, Ruth remained loyal to her mother-in-law Naomi and to her husband's and Naomi's faith.
The third window represents the Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother." It pictures Joseph and his father Jacob embracing in front of horses and a chariot. Joseph, who has become a prosperous leader of Egypt, wears sandals, whereas Jacob, whose wealth has been destroyed by famine, is shown barefooted.
Temple Beth El, Michigan's first Jewish congregation, was founded in Detroit in 1850. Completed in 1973, the present home of Temple Beth El was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who created a soaring sanctuary patterned after the biblical Tent of Meeting. The Ten Commandment Windows were made in 1921 by Heinigke and Smith of New York City for an earlier Detroit home of the Temple, designed by Albert Kahn and completed in 1922. They were reinstalled in the sanctuary foyer of the present Temple in 1972.
Temple Beth El of Bloomfield Hills was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Leslie Gowan of Bloomfield Hills.
Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, July , 2000.