King David’s Book of Tehillim (Songs of David: Psalms) has been singing praise and supplication to our Creator for the past 3,000 years. When people recite Tehillim, their hearts are uplifted and inspired. In his youth, King David took his “kinor” lyre with him as he tended sheep in the fields. He was the harpist who calmed the soul of King Saul. As King, David played the “nevel,” the atara style harp portrayed in this sculpture. In the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, hosts of Levites played their harps and sang Tehillim. The beautiful music was heard as far as Jericho!
Now, though the Temple was destroyed, the Tehillim continues to play King David’s Harp – with its words. In the artist’s personification of the Book of Tehillim, the ancient volume’s posture is fallen and the crown is lowered to cover the face. Hands extend from between the pages to pluck the strings of King David’s Harp. This image if symbolic of the fall of the Jewish rule over Jerusalem and the masking of HaShem’s face “hester panim” throughout the history of “golus” exile. Nevertheless, we see HaShem’s hand involved in all that occurs with everlasting concern, love, and encouragement. The crown now rests on the shoulders of the Book of Tehillim.
Symbolically, if we can continue to play the enchanting music of Tehillim recital, we may merit to witness HaShem’s outstretched hand once again in history – as when He took us out of slavery in Egypt. This time, He will rebuild the Beis Hamikdash, the holy Temple, in Jerusalem – Yerushalayim (root “yerusha”, inheritance) and replace the royal crown to its proper position, upon the head of our righteous Moshiach, direct descendent of King David!
Symbolism of the abstract bronze sculpture by the same name