I am walking along the ancient city walls of the old city of Jerusalem towards the monumental Jaffa Gate. The 12 meters tall, sand-colored walls gloom bright in the afternoon sun on this warm October day.
Around me is the bustle of tour groups, locals and merchants, chatter of all languages, yet most of it remains unnoticed. My mind wanders off in anticipation of entering this most holy place I meant to visit for quite some time.
Jerusalem’s old city is a unique composition of diversity and opposites, all coexisting in a tiny area of less than one square kilometer.
This UNESCO world heritage is home to several sites that are of profound importance for different religions, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque for Muslims.
Wandering through the different quarters of the old city, history and religion are universally present. Whether one is religious or not, Jerusalem’s old city enchants.
It is the religious profoundness of the site, the praying of devoted believers around me, a spiritual magnitude that draws one in. It is fascinating to see the sacred places of the tales of the Bible, the Tanakh, and the Koran coming alive, never before have I found myself in a place where religion is so alive, so rigorously practiced.
In a world where wars are explained with religion, in an area that has been shaken by weapons in the name of belief, it is moving to see how in this small place, a multitude of different beliefs, of congregations come together and co-exist with each other in tactfulness and acceptance ever since so for centuries. Jerusalem to me seems like a gleaming beacon of tolerance.
Beyond its sights, Jerusalem is a feast of tales, so complex and diverse, one is hardly able to learn about them all in a single lifetime.
Comparable to the origins of Greek mythology, oral and written traditions where brought together to preserve them and to create sacred texts, such as the Book of Exodus around 400BCE. Exodus is the second book of the Torah, the Hebrew Bible also known as the old Testament. One tale captivates especially, the story of the Hoshen, the priestly breastplate, worn by the high priest of the Israelites.
According to the Biblical description, the golden plate features twelve different precious stones, each made from specific minerals, none of them the same as another and each of them representative of a tribe of Israel, also known as the twelve sons of Israel.
Behind each of the 12 gems are countless tales about their meaning, the choice and symbolism of the stone.
One example is the 11th stone chosen for Joseph, a Shoham, which is Hebrew for Onyx.
Onyx is described as a stone of mystery. The way the bands on the stone change from black to white is compared to the human conversion from sinfulness to righteousness. The contrasting character of the stone with its black and white pattern are compared to the course of life, as one goes through periods of struggle which are then followed by ease.
Onyx is a stone that is said to give us positive energy and strength to remind us of the good and to look forward.
MYKU is proud to feature a selection of unique onyx dials for a limited series of timepieces. Just as the multitude of myths surrounding this precious stone, each of us forms a very personal connection with the stone they choose. Discover MYKU’s unique ONYX timepieces here.