THE ILLUSTRATED PITUM HAKTORES
The custom of the recitation of Seder Pitum Hakatores "the formulation of the incense offering" is recommended by many rabbinical sources to be said from a hand written parchment. The sefer Kaf HaChaim states "The recitation of Pitum Hakatores from a parchment written like a sefer Torah has a segulah (spiritual nature) to merit wealth and to be successful in all of ones enterprises". This benefit can be attributed to the great significance that Hashem places for the recitation of the formulation of the Ketores (incense offering). Rabbi Hirsch comments that the incense offering symbolizes Israel's duty to make all of its actions pleasing to Hashem. The sefer Seder Hayom says that "one should write the formulation on kosher klaf (parchment) and read it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon with great concentration." Many sources encourage the Ketores recitation for success and salvation in many situations.
The Ketores is a blend of incense with its ingredients specifically prescribed by the traditional Torah sources. It comprises eleven fragrances. The text of the Ketores recounts them in the following order: 1) Balsam, 2) Onycha 3) Galbanum
4) Frankincense 5) Myrrh 6) Cassia 7) Spikenard 8) Saffron 9) Costus 10) Cinnamon bark 11) Cinnamon.
A unique exquisitely illustrated Seder Pitum Hakatores is available, written by expert sofrim (scribes) on kosher klaf, depicting the ingredients of the Ketores in order of the text (from right to left). Also depicted are three of the main vessels of the Beis Hamikdash (the Holy Temple). In the middle is the incense altar in the position as it was placed in the Beis Hamikdash. To its right is the Shulchan (the golden table) and to its left is the Menorah, as they were placed in the Beis Hamikdash. The crown on top of the parchment contains a depiction of the tablets of the Ten Commandments suggesting a forth vessel - the Holy Ark that contained the Holy Tablets placed in the middle of the far inner end of the Beis Hamikdash in the Holy of Holys. The artist choice of the various depictions of the ingredients of the Ketores is mostly based on the work of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in the sefer "The Living Torah". There are ten ingredients depicted as the last to the left depicts cinnamon, which includes cinnamon bark totaling eleven ingredients. The second illustrated ingredient includes a picture of a sea shell because many authorities say that the second ingredient came from an aquatic animal such as certain snails of the Murex family, other sources; however, identify this ingredient with a species of Rockrose.
This masterful artwork is printed on parchment by using an exclusive high quality, high-tech, lithograph-like printing process. Additional hours of hand coloration by the artist enhance the end product to the degree of an original art piece. There are a couple of styles of the main theme of the Illustrated Ketores available, all based on the ingredients of the Ketores and vessels of the Holy Temple motif. Each copy is hand signed by the artist. The parchment is protected with a matte lacquered finish for long lasting continuous use. The artwork is bound in a high quality hand crafted customized leather folder. The hand written text is available in three calligraphy prints: Ari-zal print, Beis Yosef print, and Sfardic print. The choice of print is based on one's individual custom. The Sfardic print is less expensive due to the greater ease of its execution. Various degrees of writing expertise are available on request. There are a few styles and levels of the leather binding available which can be customized to ones specifications.
Many early and later Rabbinical and Kabbalistic authorities encourage the recitation of Psalm 67 "Lamanatzayach B'Neginos" to be said in the configuration of the Menorah. These authorities tell us that its recitation in this manner has a segulah (spiritual nature) to merit great success in many of ones endeavors. The Chida recommends that one should read it in this fashion written on parchment. The Ben Ish Chai adds that one should read it with the parchment in an upright position so that the form of the Menorah is in the position as it was standing in the sanctuary of the Holy Temple. As an option one can order a handwritten "Lamanatzayach B'Neginos" in the form of the Menorah on parchment incorporated with the Illustrated Ketores.
The Illustrated Ketores is an exceptional gift item for ones Rabbi, family member, friend, choson (groom) or someone special (that can be YOU!). This is truly an outstanding gift for any occasion. The Illustrated Ketores is a magnificent Judaica
collector's quality art piece.
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