And you shall make two golden cherubim; you shall make them of hammered work, from the two ends of the ark cover. And make one cherub from the one end and the other cherub from the other end; from the ark cover you shall make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall have their wings spread upwards, shielding the ark cover with their wings, with their faces toward one another…I will arrange My meetings with you there, and I will speak with you from atop the ark cover from between the two cherubim that are upon the Ark of the Testimony… (Exodus 25:18-22)

These golden cherubim face each other with outstretched wings, portraying their role as a symbol of love. They sit among red roses against a blue background. The Talmud tells us that the cherubim embraced each other when there was closeness between the Israelites and G‑d, and turned away from each other when the people went astray. When the Babylonian conquerors broke into the Temple and entered the Holy of Holies, they saw the cherubim embracing. This shows that even in the worst of times, the love between G‑d and the Jewish people endures.

This piece of art was inspired by a commission to paint the love story depicted in the Song of Songs, which is understood as a metaphor for the relationship between G‑d and Israel. This love song parallels the cherubim in the Holy of Holies. See how the cherubim seem to be kissing. Both kisses and roses are frequent symbols in the Song of Songs, which opens with: “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” In the commentaries kisses are understood as mystical secrets of the Torah which G‑d imparts “mouth to mouth” to His nation, who are compared to roses. When the Holy Temple stood, G‑d's voice gave over His secrets from the space between the cherubim. There are kabalistic writings which say that in our time the cherubim upon the Ark symbolize the future revelation, may it be soon.