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Jewish Art for the Soul

Ben Ish Chai

March 18, 2018


March 14, 2018

Life is change: there is beauty at every stage of metamorphosis.

12 Tribes of Israel: Benjamin—The Ravenous Consumer

March 11, 2018

“She named him the son of my suffering, and his father called him Benjamin.” (Genesis 35:18) ​​

The youngest of the twelve tribes, Benjamin, was named by his mother, Rachel, who died in childbirth. His father, Jacob, changed his name from “the son of my suffering” to “son of the right hand”: a name that represents the strength that comes from pain, the power of transformation. Benjamin seeks out the Divine energy housed within matter and elevates it, transforming the material into the spiritual. The sun is setting over the hills of Jerusalem, and the illuminated windows of the city send their warm glow out to the rest of the world. The confusion of twilight dissolves in the peaceful vision of a city, held securely and quietly nestled in the hills around it. Jerusalem is the heart of the Land and the heart of the nation. It is strong and at peace, a peace that extends outward towards the viewer and to the outer edges of the painting, where an olive branch tentatively spreads its leaves in a prayerful motion inviting us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalms 122:6).

The deep reds of the setting sun in this painting reflect the tribe of Benjamin’s gemstone, a maroon jasper.

Three Pillars Sustain the World

March 7, 2018

Family and community is our world. It is held up by our mitzvot, prayer, and Torah learning.

Stained Glass Purim Basket

February 25, 2018

Inspired by the joyous festivities connected with the Holiday of Purim, the variety of fragmented shapes, images, and colors in the painting represent each of us as individuals, coming together and uniting in celebration! Each piece is an important contribution to the whole.

Women at the Wall

February 21, 2018

The intense, meditative prayers and feelings as two feminine figures unite, a Jewish woman with her heartfelt prayer, and the Shechina, G‑ds feminine indwelling presence which hovers at the wall, uplifting and comforting Her children.

Blessing for the Home

February 18, 2018

This painting contains Braha L'Bait, a Hebrew blessing for the home. This reminds me of Israel's rich cultural blend of people from different origins.

Old Doors in Jerusalem

February 14, 2018

"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget [its skill]." (Psalms 137:5)

Psalms and Palm Trees

February 11, 2018

Psalms chapter one with palm trees in white, black, and red.

Magical Forest Inspired by Anne Frank

February 7, 2018

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that remains.” - Anne Frank

12 Tribes of Israel: Joseph - The Sufferer

February 4, 2018

“May G‑d grant me another son.” (Genesis 30:24)

Joseph was Rachel’s first child, born after many years of waiting. The name Joseph indicates adding, embracing, and gathering. This painting shows us Joseph's tomb, the center of which is a gaping black hole. And yet, the area is surrounded by golden sheaves of wheat, representing Joseph as the sustainer and resilient leader of his family and of his nation. The dark cavity of the tomb and the path are illuminated by the nourishing, golden wheat, symbols of our strength to transform pain into spiritual growth and light. In the background are two mountains, Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Evel: Gerizim, which is lush and green, was the mountain of blessings; Evel, which is barren, is the mountain of curses. Seen side by side, they ask the viewer to think about suffering and flourishing, and to look to the righteous Joseph for an example of the transformation of which we are capable.

The darkness that pulls us into the center of this painting reflects the tribe of Joseph's gemstone onyx.

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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