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Jewish Art for the Soul

12 Tribes Of Israel: Simeon - The Aggressor

12 Tribes Of Israel: Simeon - The Aggressor

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“Because G‑d heard.” (Genesis 29:33)

Leah’s second son, Simeon, embodies the quality of hearing. The tribe of Simeon did not receive its own portion in the Land of Israel because of their aggressive role in destroying the city of Shechem (see Genesis 34), an act for which Jacob chastised them on his deathbed. This painting takes us to the portion within Judah’s land in the south that was allocated to Simeon. We are looking out over the crater Machtesh Ramon. The crater is harsh and aggressive with its fortress-like walls, but it is also an opening. In order to stem the harsher aspects of our internal and interpersonal landscapes, we need to create space, to let down our barriers and truly listen. In doing so, we create the possibility for harmonious community (in the foreground), and expansive possibility as we look out into the horizon, into the future.

The reddish-orange of the crater’s sand reflects the warmth of the tribe of Simeon’s gemstone, topaz.


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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"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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