There are approximately 8,000 rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli civilians each year. Even when aimed at military objects, the rockets and mortar shells and considered illegal weapons: their high imprecision endangers civilians in the areas from which they are fired and where they land. Nonetheless, Palestinians continue to launch such rockets and mortar shells to and from residential neighborhoods.

Israeli artist Yaron Bob, who knows firsthand how it feels to live in the shadow of terror, has found a means of transforming weapons of war into expressions of peace. After two close calls with rocket attacks, he knew he had to respond to the terror faced by his small community of Yated, near the Gaza border.

I take the Kassam, the instrument of death, and I change it. I transform it into something beautiful.

The computer teacher, blacksmith and metal sculptor got to work and discovered how to symbolize Israel’s desire for peace, while helping terror victims. “It finally struck me that I needed to make a rose from the Kassam,” Yaron says. “A symbol of peace and an answer to death.”

Creating metal art sculptures that blossom with hope, he transforms real pieces of Kassam missiles collected from police stations into fascinating works of art.

Because the rockets are literal emblems of murder, at first he felt reluctant to touch them. But the concept of a rose growing from the carnage was too compelling to resist. His art is about transformation.

His hand-sculpted metal roses, candlesticks and menorahs symbolize the endurance and hope of the Israeli people in the face of ongoing Islamic terror. Notably, a portion of the proceeds from every sale helps to build and maintain crucial bomb shelters in besieged southern Israel.

The rocket before transformation
The rocket before transformation

Creating the roses involves at least three to four hours of turning and twisting the rocket metal and hand-sculpting the intricate petals and leaves. The larger, more detailed roses and bouquets can take significantly longer.

The base of each rose is shaped like the map of Israel. The stem is attached to the spot which represents the town of Sderot, so that the rose literally “grows” from the place of destruction.

Yaron Bob explains, “I take the Kassam, the instrument of death, and I change it. I transform it into something beautiful.” He also makes Chanukah menorahs, keychains and Star of David jewelry.

Each rose has a plaque at its base, inscribed with the date when that particular rocket was fired at Israel. The constant barrage of attacks against civilians comes from neighbors who make clear their intention to kill every last Jew. Hamas and other Palestinian groups make no secret that this is their goal.

A menorah made from rockets
A menorah made from rockets

In contrast, art is a means for people to express and make sense of the world around them. Yaron Bob has personally experienced bombs and missiles falling around him, and his work brings to light this vivid violence, while helping to build shelters to protect children.

The prophet Michah proclaimed that when Moshiach comes, “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks.” The symbols of war will be exchanged into symbols of tranquility; may we witness this complete transformation speedily.