|Courtesy Mark Podwal|
Mark Podwal has been commissioned to create the new high holidays white amud cover for the Altneuschul in Prague.
The design includes a crown, an open book with a shofar and the three words in Hebrew for Repentance, Prayer and Charity from the Unetaneh Tokef prayer.
The embroidering by Penn and Fletcher of the shofar is spectacular and can only be appreciated when seeing the actual textile, which Mark recently brought to Prague.
Previously Mark designed other textiles for the shul, including the high holiday ark curtain. White symbolizes purity, humility and renewal, reminiscent of the famous verse: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they will be white as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
A Czech television documentary about the life and art of Mark Podwal is on view at youtube, with english subtitles. It chronicles Podwal's fascinating involvement with Prague and the Altneuschul. View it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7HHeANISbw