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May 2, 1986

Moshe Castel's The Synagogue

JAMA. 1986;255(17):2293. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370170057022

To the Editor.—  The Dec 6 cover depicting The Synagogue1 was an impressive and appropriate symbol of a joyous holiday season. The artist, while skillfully combining elements of creativity and tension (an arched, massive room bathed in radiant sunlight) has, nevertheless, succeeded in portraying a milieu of total serenity. The ancient Hebrew sources of his inspiration, as quoted in Dr Fred Rosner's commentary, have served him well.In this context it may be distressing to raise an important caveat. The name of G-d pictured above the menorah is executed in normative Hebrew—the tetragrammaton. As such, it is holy and must be treated with reverence. Maimonides, in his Book of Commandments,2 clearly includes erasing any of the names of the divinity in a biblical prohibition.3 This cover, accordingly, should not be discarded but should be properly disposed of, preferably by burial. Arrangements may be made through our offices for