The Burning Bush Synagogue

Armon Architects (Masterpiece Series)

The Burning Bush Synagogue
Oscar Riera Ojeda
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The concept in the back of the monumental structure located at the IDF officers school is based on receipt of the Torah by Moses on Mount Sinai. Moses received his appointment at the location of the burning bush. At the ceremony revealing their officer rank on the parade ground, the cadets receive and agree to lead their soldiers with the burning bush in the ground, connecting them with the Godly appointment. The biblical verse "and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed" symbolises the appointment and constitutes the source of inspiration for the structure design which through flames of concrete encompass the officer in the fire of appointment during prayer. The prayer hall is built of 24 concrete flames installed on a concrete skeleton with steel screws and poles created in an industrial and controlled process, millimetre precise. Each flame is connected by two steel poles at the top and 2 anchor points at the bottom locked in place by screws. Each group of three flames was stabilised by a horizontal iron pole. The walls of the hall were stabilised in the same way. ' And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. . . ' - The Book of Exodus chapter 26 verse 28. The whole compound is interwoven with a forest of olive trees as the sword is interwoven in the officer pin, the olive branch now entwining the flame of appointment.
Eliezer Armon Eliezer Armon one of Israel' s most prominent and busiest architects, is a philosopher. Over the years he has honed a philosophy that mixes Kabbalah, martial arts and his experiences as a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and is fully reflected in the buildings he designs. He is also behind one of Israel' s largest housing booms, which aims to build 120,000 apartments across 27 Israeli cities with 35 transportation centers in the next decade. The numbers are as impressive as the man behind them. Armon lives and practices his craft in Beersheba, where he is continuously inspired by the desert and influenced by biblical stories. That influence comes together in the design of one of his buildings that he calls "Abraham' s Well" in Beersheba. Armon' s design integrates the shape of a tent and includes an actual well in the building' s yard. "Abraham lived in a tent as a nomad and God told him l' ech l' cha," he said. "In essence this means God said, ' Go and I will follow you. ' In the Visitors Center we follow Abraham and see that his mission was to go forth on his own power. The materials in the building reflect a sense of place. " For Armon, incorporating spirituality into his designs is key to the transformation from space to place. That important change is evident in his emblematic design for the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Facing the Knesset on one side and the Shrine of the Book on the other, the building is one of Armon' s masterpieces. It brings together many of the iconic elements of his design process. "The National Library best reflects my philosophy," Armon said. "And Kabbalistic notions are also reflected in the design of that building. As I write in the book: ' Letters for poetry/Are like bricks for a building/Both build stanzas and houses/One for the book/ The other for the town/And thus I choose to plan my buildings/ As stories/They stand in the public library/While the streets serve as shelves. ' " David Amgadi David Amgadi, born in Teheran in 1957, is the Head of the Planning Department at the ILA (Israel Lands Authority). At this institution, he is responsible for the initiation, direction and guidance of structure plans, development plans and detailed town plans as well as development programs at all levels. David is a regular speaker on town planning issues at various local and international forums. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Town Planning from The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, a public research University in Haifa, Israel. Aharon Haliva AHARON HALIVA, a Major General in the Israel Armed Forces was born in 1967 and joined the paratroopers brigade in 1986 where he served in several command positions. Currently he is the head of operations directorate of the Israel Defense Force general stuff. He is a graduate of national security college, has a BA degree in social Sciences from Bar-Ilan University and a MA degree in social science from political science school of Haifa University.