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Jewish Art for the Soul

"Make me understand Your precepts, and I shall speak of Your wonders." - Psalms 119:27

Ascent depicts the metaphor for prayer that is embedded within Jacob's ladder. The painting depicts the Zohar’s view of prayer, which is that each person is able to climb from an earth-bound existence into deeper states of consciousness until one unites with the G‑dliness at the core of the human soul.

The ascent up Jacob's ladder is linked to the four spiritual worlds and their connection to the morning prayer. Beginning with the World of Action (Asiyah), in which the worshipper conquers his or her animalistic pleasure-seeking soul, a person then climbs deeper through the World of Formation (Yetzirah) and Creation (Beriyah), until finally reaching the World of Intimacy. In this deepest world of spiritual enlightenment, one is united with the One and fortified with the goodness and love required to illuminate the world.

This painting is deeply inspired by Jacob’s Ladder an article posted by Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson.

Jerusalem, the holiest city, is in the center of the painting representing the body, and surrounding it are the mitzvot representing the soul. All around is the sky representing G‑d connecting our land, body, and soul.

This is both prayer and lyrics from one of my favorite songs. Like comfort food, but for the Jewish soul.

All the ritual items used for the havdala service.

Behold, Rebecca came out... and her pitcher was on her shoulder. (Genesis 24:15)

Children enjoying a party at a Chabad Hebrew school.

Trying to express and capture the intense emotion of reuniting when the soldiers liberated the Kotel during the Six Day War. War weary, helmet still on, he seems to thrust his arm and just reach to embrace as much as he can.

This act of putting the mezuzah on a door post is a way of saying to the world: "We Live Here".

Usually, mezuzot are seen as lovely, charming little things. I wanted to show that hammering in a mezuzah could be a statement of strength and determination.

Artist's interpretation of the Covenant of Parts:

[Abram] said: “L‑rd G‑d, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?” And He said to him: “Take Me three heifers, three goats, three rams, a turtledove and a young pigeon.”

He took to him all these, and he split them in the middle, and he placed each half opposite its fellow; the birds, however, he did not divide.

The eagle descended upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

As the sun was near to setting, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.

And He said to Abram: “Know surely that your descendants shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved to them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.

“And also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge; and afterwards they shall come out with great wealth.”

When the sun went down and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a burning torch, which passed between those pieces. (Genesis 15)

On that day G‑d made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.”

“With Divine bonds I have been joined.” (Genesis 30:8)

Rachel named Bilhah’s second child Naphtali, a name that symbolizes connection that is attained through struggle. This painting takes us to the tribe of Naphtali’s portion of land in the Galilee, overlooking the Sea of Galilee in the northern part of Israel. In the distance is Mt. Hermon, from which snow and rain water flow to feed the Sea of Galilee and the rest of the Land of Israel with fresh water via the national water carrier as far as the southern Negev. Water is a connecting force in the Land, as it is within our own bodies, carrying vitality and sustenance with it.

The reds and yellows of the landscape reflect the tribe’s gemstone of agate.

Adam and Eve after they left the garden of Eden.

Simchat Torah is the happiest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we celebrate the conclusion of the annual Torah-reading cycle, and begin all over again. I composed this painting with bright colors and movements that represent enthusiastic dance and happiness.

Underneath the coarse, physical self, is the deepest part of the soul - where the Infinity of G‑d is found. Thank you, G‑d!

It is impossible for people to be happy even in the most beautiful forest, unless they are truly happy within themselves.

Creative works exploring life and Judaism composed by a spectrum of Jewish artists.

"The primary talent of an artist is his ability to step away from the externalities of the thing and, disregarding its outer form, gaze into its innerness and perceive its essence, and to be able to convey this in his painting.This is how an artist can serve his Creator." — The Rebbe

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