Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse… And it will be, when the L‑rd, your G‑d, will bring you to the land to which you come, to possess it, that you shall place those blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and those cursing upon Mount Ebal. (Deuteronomy 11:26, 29)

In this mysterious ritual, Moses instructs the people that when they finally enter the Land, they are to pronounce blessings at Mount Gerizim, and curses at neighboring Mount Ebal. The Priests and Levites were to stand in the valley between the mountains. Six tribes were to stand on Mt. Gerizim and the six remaining tribes on Mt. Ebal. As the Levites called out a series of blessings and curses, the tribes on the mountains answered "amen" after each statement. We are told that Gerizim was fertile and lush with greenery and Ebal was a barren, bleak rock.

In the painting, too, there is a striking contrast between the mountains. Mount Gerizim is covered with fruitful terraces, blesses with life, celebration and joy. Vertical rays of light flow down, bringing blessings and peace. On the other side, Mount Ebal is arid, dark brown and barren. It looks dead. The strokes are horizontal, with no descending blessings.

It is taught that when we are aligned with goodness, goodness flows down on the mount of blessing, while the other mountain, the mount of curses, absorbs the murky blight of our misdeeds.