The Raised Board Collection

Yehoshua Pineles

About Yehoshua Pineles

Yehoshua Pineles is a woodworking artist with a background of over ten years as an architect. Wanting to explore his interest further in the art of making and designing he moved to Rockport, Maine to study at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.Yehoshua and his team creates ceremonial objects for Jews who want a unique and inspirational way to connect to their historic tradition. We look for inspiration within the Bible, its associated laws and customs and the Kabbalah to help bring out the innate prominence that is inherent in the Jewish service. Our mission is to explore the conceptual while functional, connecting contemporary art with ritual performance.Yehoshua splits his time developing Ritual Objects as well as leading the Woodworking Vocational Program at Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway, NY.

About The Raised Board Collection

The Shmita year is biblically referred to as a “Sabbath year” and strongly parallels the weekly Sabbath. On the seventh day of each week when we refrain from work, we sanctify the Sabbath which draws renewal from above for the upcoming six work days. This is similarly true when the land (of Israel) is not sowed or plowed for the continuous year of Shmita. Cultivated land rests and renewal is brought forth for the following six agricultural years. When we act passively on the seventh of each of these cycles, we demonstrate our faith in our creator that only six work days or years are needed for our sustenance and to reach this spiritual zenith called the “Sabbath.”Our sages (Shabbos 31a) teach that faith in God is typified by agriculture. Whereas in other occupations the work that is put in to produce a result is sometime obscure, in agriculture this process is more revealed. The farmer works the land and plants the seeds but then is openly reliant on God to provide the proper amounts of sun and rain. In sum, we see that the Sabbath and the Shmita year are both symbols of our faith in God as the provider of our daily needs.We recall this faith once a week when we refrain from work and bless the Sabbath with the apex of agriculture, Challah (bread), which is considered the most sacred of all foods. It is made using the first of the seven agricultural species of Israel, wheat, and is needed to consecrate the obligatory Sabbath meals in accordance with Jewish law. Although we ordinarily use wine for the verbal sanctification of the Sabbath (Kiddush), if wine is not present our sages (Shulchan Aruch 271:12; Rema 272:9) say that Kiddush should instead be made on Challah.This seems to be in contrast to the way we bless other abstract phenomena such as seeing lightning, hearing thunder or learning Torah where we simply recite a blessing. However, the Sabbath is unlike all other commandments for it is equal to all the mitzvot in the Torah (Yerushalmi, Berachos 1:5) and as such its spiritual elevation needs to be accompanied with the physical consumption of a perishable item, Challah. To sanctify the heavens on the Sabbath, we enlist the most elevated product of its worldly counterpoint, the earth, since both the heavens and the earth celebrate a Sabbatical and are holy.The Raised Board Collection highlights the significance of this hallowed food by presenting the Challah on a Table of its own. Sitting at a higher plane, it is properly afforded the distinction and respect that have always required us to give thanks and say grace.