Mixed Media Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Mixed Media Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Artist’s Statement: This painting expresses the watchwords of Judaism—the Shema prayer

Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G‑d, the L-rd is One.
Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.

In the background, the red color field symbolizes G‑d, and the metallic color field represents His heavenly realm. The musical cantillation notes for chanting the first line of the prayer are represented in the line separating the two color fields.

Twelve drips fall from the arc at the top, representing the twelve sons of our patriarch, Yaakov (Israel) from whom the twelve tribes originated. These drips reference the midrash that explains why the second line of the Shema is not said out loud.

When Yaakov was on his death bed, surrounded by his children, he expressed his concern that after his passing his children would stray from G‑d’s path.

To reassure him, they said, “Hear O Israel, the L rd is our G d, the L rd is one.”

Yaakov responded quietly, in a weak voice, “Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.”

We emulate his words by saying them softly or silently.

The four blue orbs represent the words “L-rd,” “Our G‑d,” “L-rd,” and “One.”

One fringe of the tzitzit should be dyed a specific blue. The shades of blue in my painting remind us that the exact color is not known today.

The single shaft of red (G‑d) anchors the composition and design, the same way G‑d anchors our way of life.