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Breastplates on the stones of Cohen Gadol


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tammuz 29, 5779
What were the names of that stones and what did it have any symbolic or hidden meaning?
ב"ה Shalom The names of the stones of the Cohen's breastplate appear in Shemot 28: 18-20, where Moshe was commanded to make the breastplate and which stones to put in it. There are various opinions among the commentators in identifying the stones and there is the job of then translating these names into English. I used the translation of "the Living Torah" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan z"l , where he also added extensive notes. I strongly recommend studying them.In addition, I think most of us would have to study some gemology to really understand what these stones are. The first row: carnelian, emerald, and a topaz. Second row: carbuncle, sapphire, and beryl. Third Row: jacinth, agate, and amethyst. Fourth Row: chrysolite, onyx, and jasper. As I said, surely all these stones had symbolic and esoteric meaning when the Cohen wore them. All the best
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