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Round luchos


There is a prevalent custom of having the two luchos someplace in the front of a shul. Many times, the luchos are made with round tops. The indication of the Gemara is that the luchos were indeed square (Bava basra – they fit into the square aron). If so, what is the reason and source for such a custom?
Thank you



What you are writing seems correct, that the luchos were indeed square (as it seems from the Babba Basra 14a) and not rounded at the top. The are those who say that the rounded top is based on Catholic artists such as Michelangelo, however I cannot confirm this.  I did see sources that quote one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s as saying that they should be made square. Interesting Rabeinu Bachya (see sources) does write clearly that the luchos were square.

I am attaching an essay written on this topic. אורייתא יג בענין צורת הלוחות

Best wishes


רבינו בחיי שמות (פרשת כי תשא) פרק לא פסוק יח וז”ל “ודע כי הלוחות היו מרובעות ששה טפחים באורך וששה טפחים ברוחב, וכן דרשו רז”ל בבבא בתרא פרק השותפין: (ב”ב יד א) הלוחות ארכם ששה ורחבם ששה ועבים שלשה, וכבר נתבאר אצלך כי עם החשבון הזה היו חתומות הלוחות בחותמו של מלך בהיות בהם עשרת הדברות, חמשה בלוח זה וחמשה בלוח זה, והבן זה.

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