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Kabbalah Medal
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Kabbalah Medal

Official Commemorative Medal

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Official Medal of the State of Israel 2009/5770

Jewish Mysticism is known as the Kabbalah receiving"- for it has traditionally been passed down directly from father to son, rabbi to pupil, generation to generation. It is a tremendous undertaking to present the challenging and vast concepts of the Kabbalah on a single medal - and this is exactly what Israel has attempted to do, in medals of 1 oz. pure gold or silver, and in bronze. This may be the first official government medal which can also be seen as an amulet, inasmuch as it also features Psalm 67, artfully written in the form of a Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), which itself is considered an amulet for protection and success in life. The central concept of the Kabbalah is a system of 10 Sefirot, the ten attributes of G-d, through which the Diety interacts with the universe. The 10 Sefirot are here represented on a tree with the Keter, the Supreme Crown at its peak. They are:
  • Hokhmah Wisdom
  • Binah Intelligence
  • Hesed Love
  • Gevurah Power
  • Tiferet Beauty
  • Nezah Endurance
  • Hod - Majesty
  • Yesod Foundation
  • Malkhut Sovereignty
  • (and above all of them, "Keter", the Supreme Crown).
The Kabbalah has been deeply rooted in ancient Hebrew mysticism and Jewish thought. Only in the 12th and 13th centuries, in Spain and Provence, however, did Kabbalists popularize its wisdom, through the Book of the Zohar. Printing of the main books of the Kabbalah further spread and popularized it, and the wisdom of the Kabbalah has since no longer belonged only to a select group of scholars.

Since revealed to the people at large, the Kabbalah has become a source of wisdom sought after worldwide, attracting people from all walks of life. Within it, one finds hope for a better world, light in the darkness for both individual and community, reassurance, peace of mind, joy and love. The singer Madonna, as well as other international celebrities, have discovered and become students of the Kabbalah and this has broadened the appeal of this journey of exploration into the meaning of life.

One side of the medal is decorated with 10 pomegranates, alluding to the 10 Sefirot and the important work of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero ( 1522-1570 ), entitled The Pomegranate Orchard, which explains the Kabbalistic concepts. Around the border is the verse in Hebrew, "And they who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament," Daniel 12:3, a promise of a bright future for those who merit it and a subtle reference to the Book of the Zohar (Brightness), containing the secrets of the Kabbalah, said to have been revealed by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the 2nd century teacher of the oral law.

The other side features the "Tree of the Sefirot", each Sefirah is represented by a circle in a pad-printed color characterizing each attribute. In the background are the first Hebrew verses in the Torah, the Book of Law, describing the Creation of the World, as far as "...it was good". In the top row of the script, the larger letters form the Hebrew word "Bereshit", meaning "In the beginning", and between them are the Hebrew letters forming "Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai", to whom the Book of the Zohar is attributed, and the words Torat Or (Doctrine of Light, referring to the Kabbalah). In the right-hand border, in Hebrew, is written "Wisdom of the Kabbalah" and in the left-hand border "KABBALAH".

Edge: Israel State Emblem, "State of Israel" in Hebrew and English, the metal fineness and serial number.

Designers: Obverse: Aharon Shevo. Reverse: Ruben Nutels.

  • - Bronze
  • 38.6mmPublisher: Israel Government Coins & Medals Corp.

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