Solve This Riddle

Crucifix on Charles Bridge in Prague

Crucifix on Charles Bridge in Prague

We saw this statue on the Charles Bridge in Prague. This is not meant to be frivolous, but there are some important lessons from history you can learn. We will do this as a class project next week, but your assignment is to translate the Hebrew and explain the significance of this piece of art. You may want to begin by transcribing the Hebrew letters. That’s just the first step. Here is a close-up of the inscription:

Closeup

Closeup

Below the crucifixion statue there is an inscription explaining it.

Inscription

Inscription

Here is a closeup of the inscription:

Explanation of Crucifix

Explanation of Crucifix

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3 Responses

  1. So, I am not so good at transcribing, but I am good at google and found that it means…Holy, Holy, HOly is the Lord of Hosts, what I do not understand is why that was percieved as contraversial? I know it was put after the cross was defaced, but why would people not want it to say what it says? Is it a negative statement toward Jewish people? What do you all think?

  2. A google is a terrible thing to waste.

    Here’s a related question.

    When Pontius Pilate put the Inscription “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (INRI) on the cross–do you think he meant it as an insult to the Jews?

  3. It was produced in Dresden, Germany, and was bought by the Prague magistrate and placed on Charles Bridge in1657 to replace on old wooden crucifix from 1360. The statue’s gilded Hebrew inscription kadosh kadosh kadosh, Hashem Tzevakos Milo Kol Haaretz Kevodo which translates as “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts,” is believed to have been paid for with money extorted from a person who had mocked a wooden crucifix that formerly stood on this site.
    A traditional Jewish prayer taken from the Book of Isaiah, the inscription was
    added to the crucifix in 1696 by Prague city authorities to humiliate Jews for an alleged blasphemy
    committed by Jewish leader Elias Backoffen

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