“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.