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Jewish Art for the Soul

12 Tribes of Israel: Reuben - The First

12 Tribes of Israel: Reuben - The First

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“Because G‑d saw my affliction.” (Genesis 29:32)

Named by his mother, Leah, the firstborn of the twelve tribes embodies the quality of vision. Illuminated by the sun rising over the hills around the Dead Sea, this painting asks us to gaze past the dark forms in the foreground and to see the world as it glows in the light of a new day.

From our vantage point we experience the powerful and healing energy of the first light warming the sky and the somewhat barren and undulating landscape. Our vision extends into the bright distance and is then joined to the present in the cheer of the acacia flowers that are directly in front of us, inviting us to celebrate another moment of creation.

The warm reds of the painting reflect the tribe of Reuben’s gemstone sardius (possibly ruby).


Lesley Friedmann’s deep connection to her Jewish heritage and strong ties to the land of Israel influence her art. From her childhood in South Africa, to her teenage years on a kibbutz in Israel, art was always Lesley’s favorite class. She served in the Israeli Armed Forces and then immigrated to Victoria, Canada, where she pursued an undergraduate degree in Art Education and settled down to raise a family of four children with her husband, Bryan. In 2016, Lesley earned her Masters of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Victoria. Lesley now devotes most of her free time to painting.
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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


Lesley FriedmannLesley Friedmann’s deep connection to her Jewish heritage and strong ties to the land of Israel influence her art. From her childhood in South Africa, to her teenage years on a kibbutz in Israel, art was always Lesley’s favorite class. She served in the Israeli Armed Forces and then immigrated to Victoria, Canada, where she pursued an undergraduate degree in Art Education and settled down to raise a family of four children with her husband, Bryan. In 2016, Lesley earned her Masters of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Victoria. Lesley now devotes most of her free time to painting.
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