The "Ten Commandment" Windows

Ten beautiful works of art adorn the west wall of the synagogue. These "Ten Commandment" windows have been beautifully designed and executed by our resident artist, Suzi Derzon. From right to left the windows are symbolized in Hebrew. Below are the thought-provoking descriptions from the artist herself.

“The circle represents a perfect form to me. No beginning and no end. That is why I visualized G-d and His commandments in this format. The first four commandments all complete circles acknowledging G-d's perfection and man's relationship to G-d. In the other six commandment windows each rondel has been altered in some way to imply man's relationship to man (or woman)." 

 
Art - Comm 1

I am the Lord your G-d.

The rondel is surrounded by gold and 36 prisms. 36 for twice life and 36 just people born to each generation. Four of the prisms are tinged with a rose color for the four corners of the earth. The lines surrounding the roundel radiate out to encompass all. I chose the color purple for its reference to the meaning of royalty. 

Art comm2

Thou shalt have no other G-d before me.

One G-d. This blue circle represents the sea "from which all life commenced, the sea resembles the sky and the sky resembles the throne of glory" as it is written in Ezekiel 1:26. "And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone." The crystal circle surrounding the circle is to represent One G-d unity. 

Art comm3

Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.

This commandment is most difficult to explain. My interpretation is that we should not involve G-d in a lie. If we swear in G-d's name we not only diminish ourselves but G-d as well. A lie is a shattering and destructive statement, hence, the shattered background. The circle is more opaque or polluted because to misuse his name is to dishonor Him. 

Art comm4

Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy.

The Sabbath circle is at rest in a rectangle. I wanted to convey stability calmness, a time to rest and renew. The choice of a wispy glass alludes to a sense of mysticism a day of blessing, a beautiful gift. 

Art comm5

Honor Thy Father and Mother.

The circle wears a crown to honor the mother and father. The curved lines on each side represent male and female coming together in union. The small dark spot left of center represents the seed or nucleus for the next generation. The color gold symbolizes the most precious metal. 

Art comm6

Thou shalt not murder.

The circle is torn never to be repaired, the tear is echoed throughout the background. The color is the color of bloodshed. 
Art comm7

Thou shalt not commit Adultery.

The circle is deliberately cut in half, separating the union. The rays that extend from the circle draw energy from it and cannot align again and be complete. 
Art comm8

Thou shalt not steal.

Portions of the circle are gone. When we steal, we diminish ourselves as well as G-d. 
Art comm9

Thou shalt not bear false witness.

The circle is shattered destroying wholeness. Deceit creates fissures and cracks that keep on going. Like commandment number 3, lies are words that wound deeply. 
Art comm10

Thou shalt not covet.

We each have our portions, some more, some less. To want that which is not yours drains and leaches our strength and gives us no peace. The lines that ebb and flow from the circle drain the lifeblood away. 
"I started collecting the rondels years ago, long before this project was conceived. It was a natural extension (for reasons mentioned above) to use these beautiful pieces of glass as the symbols I was looking for. Often I find a predestination that my work was meant to be. At night I envisioned the windows to be like jewels in a crown, from the outside. During the day with G-d's light they are a constant reminder of His gifts and ethical precepts. If the windows are good, it is because G-d wanted them to be good."

Suzi Derzon, Designer