DR8-R12b is a Tribute to Nathan Marcus Adler, from the Jewish community of Hanover. (Check out Wikipedia; he has an epic hat, and even more epic sideburns.)
The Tribute is dated 1879, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination (according to the JTS catalogue). As well as the numerical date, it has a nice Hebrew chronogram:
That is, שפתי כהן ישמרו דעת, four words from Malakhi 2:7, For the priest’s lips guard knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. The large letters with dots over them–שכהישד–add up to 639, and 5639 in the Jewish calendar corresponds to 1879 in the Christian one.
My alma mater has a chronogram; one of its alumni went on to build the Dyson-Perrins laboratory building in Oxford, and it has a plaque saying baLLIoLensIs feCI hyDatoeCVs o sI MeLIVs. This means “I, Waterhouse of Balliol, made this. Would it were better.” (Note that this is an extreme of pretentiousness; Waterhouse had to render his name into Latin to get it to work.) Date comes out to 1914.
Latin ones have a different feel; some (or preferably all) of the Roman-numeral letters (you know, IVXLCDM) make up the date. If you can’t get it such that all the number-letters make the date, you have to indicate which ones you want people to read. Since all letters in Hebrew have a numeric value, if you want to do it most elegantly such that all the letters make the date, you have a lot more flexibility in how you compose your date, but much less ability to pad your sentence with filler words.
Anyway, Adler was the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1845-1890. He was a scholarly type, with a university degree and all. He was also a cohen. So this is a great verse to attach to him.
Mirrored from hasoferet.com.