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A bunch of stick figures cross paths on a crowded street.

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Stick Figure Vignette: Parshat V'zot-Haberacha

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Everybody: Stick Figure Vignette: Parshat V'zot-Haberacha

A bunch of stick figures cross paths on a crowded street.
Vezot Hab'rachah

So, here we are—the last Stick Figure Vignette of the year. I wanted to do something huge and epic, possibly involving some stick-figure parkour. I also had this image of all the stick people colliding somehow. They exist in such different snippets of reality (or surreality?), I thought it would be interesting to see them all together, and it also seemed like a fitting way to end the year. So, when I came across this verse, it made sense to go in that direction (perhaps we’ll see some stick-man free-running another time).

What caught my attention about this verse was that it isn’t just emphasizing the importance of Jewish unity, but it actually makes our relationship with Hashem as our king dependent on that unity. That was interesting to me. The idea that we have to acknowledge Hashem as our king, to appreciate that aspect of our relationship with Him and accept the responsibilities that come with it makes sense to me. And the power of Jewish unity is nothing new to me. But I couldn’t figure out the connection between the two right away.

A few sources popped into my head, and I’m sure that just a little research would yield many satisfying results, but what I’d like to share here is a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. It was the night of the beginning of Selichot. We were all gathered in Shul at 1:00 am to do some serious praying. For those of you who haven’t been following these vignettes from the beginning, I’m not so great at prayer. So after the service I was speaking to a friend about what we just said and why it should feel important to me. My specific grievance was the the abundance of tactics used to convince G‑d to answer our pleas, which become increasingly desperate throughout the service. By the end the pace becomes almost frantic; short and repetitive- “Do it for the sake of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. Do it for the sake of Moshe and Aharon... Do it for the sake of those who have been killed to preserve Your holy Name... Do it for the sake of the infants who have done nothing wrong...Do it for the schoolchildren...” The list goes on. I told my friend it seems overly desperate- we’re talking to G‑d here. Either we have a good case or we don’t; a better argument or dropping a different name shouldn’t make a difference. He thought for a few seconds and then told me I should make a stick figure cartoon in which each of the different people mentioned in that prayer walk on screen one by one, slowly zooming out until somehow the entire collection of distinct personalities and unique voices gives us one infinitely diverse collective voice through which we can better communicate with an infinite G‑d. My first reaction—wow. My second reaction—how am I supposed to draw that? Luckily, I didn’t remember the conversation until after I animated this one. Sorry, Chaim. But I think the idea is beautiful, and it helped me make sense of the verse.

For those of you who want more solid sources—I strongly encourage you to use our search tools to do some research of your own. If you find something cool, share it with us all in the comments.

Thank you all so much for letting me share these strange cartoons with you these past few weeks (If you want to see more, let us know. Feedback helps). I wish you all a happy, healthy and sweet new year.p>

Dovid

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Mottel Brighton Australia 🇦🇺 September 14, 2017

Love it just love it!!!!!😍😍😍 Reply

Shmuel dovid June 8, 2017

Very interesting Reply

Hans Lameire September 10, 2016

Oneness? Non-duality as in not being the least divided folowing the never ending border of a word written as border wich has no real objective value just as the fotons hitting it have no borders unless they are pinned down and forming a thought dwelling in a subject and emmerged from somewhere that is us but not ours to be. A spark in a tindle of the submerged stardust where the word light is not formed yet but never left either. Hhmm.. maybe I'll stop drinking coffee for a while or this makes sence for someone? I wunder in our wonder? Reply

Anonymous Baltimore April 12, 2016

The part with the man hiding behind the stand was realy funny. Reply

chana UK June 29, 2014

we like all the people Reply

Z Toorak Gardens November 19, 2012

Yes.. please Yeah!! More stick figures coming... anytime soon...? PLEASE Reply

Jeff K November 9, 2012

Keep 'em coming! Please keep the stick figures coming! They are thought provoking and a wonderful way to start the day. Thank you! Reply

Anonymous October 27, 2012

please! Pease do more. They're fantastic! Reply

Yoel Leib October 24, 2012

Will there be more Stick Figure Vignettes in the near future? Reply

Teacher chicago, IL October 17, 2012

Yes, More Please!!!! Thee vignettes are brilliant! Please, please continue them. We know it's easier said than done, but if at all possible, please continue!!! They teach so much to so many! Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn, NY October 16, 2012

What?! It's ending? that can't happen! this was my favorite video since who knows when!we had always watched those few episodes over and over and we were so happy when more were being made!Please don't end it for my sake!!!!! Reply

An Israeli girl Tzfas, Israel October 8, 2012

Great stuff! Bs"D

I absolutely love the stick figures! It's funny and teaches you important things at the same time. Thank you so much for putting in the effort to create this!

Hatzlocho in all you do! Reply

Ruthie October 4, 2012

the daily hubris truthfully, i saw in this one ... the difference between a day cycle, with the day job & its self-styled 'burden of proof' : world's best hot dog!! --

& then the night cycle of a 'difficult' prayer; now tired from the day... yes, why should G-d answer our desperate pleas? how would a better argument make a difference?

--well said!!

thanks for including in your community a few mysterious stick people with seemingly anonymous, unexplained, 'wardrobe malfunctions', each 'bargaining with G-d' in full daylight. Meaningful, always meaningful. Reply

John Phiippines October 4, 2012

I really enjoyed this stick figure. It's simplicity brings power and effective in communicating truths about God and about his people. Reply

Anonymous chicago, il October 4, 2012

beautiful! What a joy! What a Sukkos message of togetherness and unity. Even after seeing your title, I didn't expect what I began to see: this guy from that vignette, then the other guy from the other, the scene of course from another, etc. and then I read your blog! The whole concept was so powerful and, as always, conveyed in such masterful simplicity. Naturally, the vignette had to be viewed and enjoyed again and again. Thank you for sharing your brilliant gift with "everyone." You are very much appreciated. Can't wait to see what you are coming up with next. Reply

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