Pitum haketoret (Incense)
100 cm x 64 cm
acrylic paint on fiberboard
text: Pitum haketoret (TB Kritot 6a), Exodus (Szemot) 30:34-36
“And the Lord said to Moses, Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, with the best frankincense, in equal weights;
And make from them a perfume, such as is made by the art of the perfume-maker, mixed with salt, and clean and holy.
And put some of it, crushed very small, in front of the ark in the Tent of meeting, where I will come face to face with you; it is to be most holy.”
“The incense mixture was formulated of eleven spices: stacte; onycha; galbanum; frankincense – the weight of seventy portions each; myrrh; cassia; spikenard and Saffron – the weight of sixteen portions each. Costus – twelwe maneh; aromatic bark – three; cinnamon – nine.
Further, nine kavs of Lye of Carsina. And three kavs and three se-ah of Cyprus wine. And if one could not find any Cyprus wine, he should bring old white wine and a quarter of the salt of Sodom. And a small measure of a smoke raising herb.
Rabbi Nattan the Babylonian says: Also a minute amount of Jordan amber, if he placed honey into it, he invalidated it. And if he left out any of its spices, he is liable to the death penalty.
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: The stacte is simply the sap that drips from balsam trees. Carshina lye is used to bleach the onycha to make it pleasing. Cyprus wine is used to soak the onycha to make it pungent. Even though urine is suitable for that, nevertheless they do not bring urine into the Temple out of respect.”