When it opened earlier this month, it was evident to everyone that Washington and Lee’s handsome new Hillel House contains some special features. One of them is the Jerusalem stone that installed on a wall in the entryway.
The stone, which features an unfinished split face, was manufactured by Haifa Inc. and consists of limestone from the A. Grebelsky & Son quarries. The stone was shipped to the U.S. through Israel’s Ashdod Port. Each piece of stone is 12”x24” and weighs 45 pounds.
Joan Robins, director of Hillel at W&L, says that not only is the stone a beautiful design feature but it also symbolizes the Jewish people’s link to the land of Israel. Joan added: “In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), there are many references to this land and its centrality to Jewish history and national identity. In any Jewish prayer book anywhere in the world, references in the liturgy to Zion, the land of Israel, are endless. Dating back to King David, who lived approximately 3000 years ago, and who established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem has represented not only the geographical center of the Jewish people, but also the spiritual heart of their faith and identity. No matter where Jewish pray, they always face in the direction of Jerusalem.”