When I first went to Prague I thought this statue was incredibly fascinating. It is a statue of Jesus on the cross but around him are the words, in Hebrew, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord of Hosts.” These words are part of an important prayer uttered by Jews every day the world over. They, under no circumstances, refer to Jesus, and so finding this statue on the Charles Bridge in Prague was a bizarre discovery for me.
As it happens, these golden Hebrew letters were part of a humiliating punishment assigned to a Jew at the end of the 17th century who’d been accused of blasphemy. He was forced to pay for them, and it made it seem that when the Jews said this prayer, they were referring to Jesus.
Needless to say, my love of European history and studying Jewish-Christian relations, made stumbling across this statue a wonderful treat.
Plus, a friend of mine stripped down to his boxers right here and planned to jump over the edge before something (Jesus?) compelled him to stop, because the river was likely more shallow than he imagined.
Have you ever been to Prague? Have you seen this statue? What’d you think?
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Filed under: History, Picture of the Day | Tagged: 17th century, Around the World, Charles River Bridge, Christiainity, Christians, Czech Republic, Europe, Hebrew, History, Jesus, Jew, Jews, Picture of the Day, Prague, prayer, Religion |