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A beautiful harp (nevel in Hebrew) was recently
donated to the Temple Institute
This beautiful harp (nevel in Hebrew) was recently donated to the Temple Institute. The harp was hand-crafted by the renowned Jerusalem craftsman Mica Harrari, who, together with his wife Shoshanna, revived the ancient art of harp making in the land of Israel some twenty years ago. The nevel pictured above was made out of native Israeli Rosewood, and features twenty-two strings, the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
Among the many instruments played in the Holy Temple, only the silver trumpets were specifically commanded by Torah. The book of Psalms mentions a number of instruments which were used by the Levites to accompany the Divine service, the nevel (which throughout the Psalms and Jewish tradition is associated with King David) being one of them. Since fewer halachic requirements were placed on the types of instruments used, musicians and instrument makers alike were granted a certain degree of artistic freedom, and many different and exotic instruments were performed upon throughout the year in the Holy Temple. The musical highlight of the year took place during the Sukkot festival, on the occasion of the Simchat Beit haShoeva celebration (the Festival of the Water Libation). Maimonides describes the number of instruments being played throughout the all-night festivities as "countless." In addition to the Levitical musicians, other accomplished artists were also invited to join in.
The Temple Institute takes this opportunity to publicly express its heartfelt thanks to the person who made this generous donation. It is our prayer that the ultimate beneficiaries of the new Rosewood nevel will be the Levitical Temple performers, and all who gather together to honor and praise the G-d of Israel, Whose presence dwells in the Holy Temple.