So, here we are—the last Stick Figure Vignette of the year. I wanted to do something huge and epic, possibly involving some stick-figure parkour. I also had this image of all the stick people colliding somehow. They exist in such different snippets of reality (or surreality?), I thought it would be interesting to see them all together, and it also seemed like a fitting way to end the year. So, when I came across this verse, it made sense to go in that direction (perhaps we’ll see some stick-man free-running another time).

What caught my attention about this verse was that it isn’t just emphasizing the importance of Jewish unity, but it actually makes our relationship with Hashem as our king dependent on that unity. That was interesting to me. The idea that we have to acknowledge Hashem as our king, to appreciate that aspect of our relationship with Him and accept the responsibilities that come with it makes sense to me. And the power of Jewish unity is nothing new to me. But I couldn’t figure out the connection between the two right away.

A few sources popped into my head, and I’m sure that just a little research would yield many satisfying results, but what I’d like to share here is a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. It was the night of the beginning of Selichot. We were all gathered in Shul at 1:00 am to do some serious praying. For those of you who haven’t been following these vignettes from the beginning, I’m not so great at prayer. So after the service I was speaking to a friend about what we just said and why it should feel important to me. My specific grievance was the the abundance of tactics used to convince G‑d to answer our pleas, which become increasingly desperate throughout the service. By the end the pace becomes almost frantic; short and repetitive- “Do it for the sake of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. Do it for the sake of Moshe and Aharon... Do it for the sake of those who have been killed to preserve Your holy Name... Do it for the sake of the infants who have done nothing wrong...Do it for the schoolchildren...” The list goes on. I told my friend it seems overly desperate- we’re talking to G‑d here. Either we have a good case or we don’t; a better argument or dropping a different name shouldn’t make a difference. He thought for a few seconds and then told me I should make a stick figure cartoon in which each of the different people mentioned in that prayer walk on screen one by one, slowly zooming out until somehow the entire collection of distinct personalities and unique voices gives us one infinitely diverse collective voice through which we can better communicate with an infinite G‑d. My first reaction—wow. My second reaction—how am I supposed to draw that? Luckily, I didn’t remember the conversation until after I animated this one. Sorry, Chaim. But I think the idea is beautiful, and it helped me make sense of the verse.

For those of you who want more solid sources—I strongly encourage you to use our search tools to do some research of your own. If you find something cool, share it with us all in the comments.

Thank you all so much for letting me share these strange cartoons with you these past few weeks (If you want to see more, let us know. Feedback helps). I wish you all a happy, healthy and sweet new year.p>