“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.