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Twelve Tribes of Israel, The

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This week I discovered that my teacher was correct. It is indeed true that the disabled have greater merit than the rest of us . . .
“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 s...
“Because of my good fortune, because women have called me fortunate.” (Genesis 30:13) ​Leah named Zilpah’s second child Asher, which indicates an abundance of fortune and joy. Asher embodies the kind of happiness that comes from prosperity, from having mo...
“And Leah said, ‘Fortune has come.’” (Genesis 30:11) Leah named the first child of her maidservant Zilpah, Gad: a name that indicates appreciation of good fortune. The soaring eagles draw us into the painting, reminding us of the way we were lead out of E...
“With Divine bonds I have been joined.” (Genesis 30:8) Rachel named Bilhah’s second child Naphtali, a name that symbolizes connection that is attained through struggle. This painting takes us to the tribe of Naphtali’s portion of land in the Galilee, over...
“G-d has judged me and also listened to my voice.” (Genesis 30:6) Rachel named the first child of her nursemaid Bilhah, Dan, a name that embodies the quality of justice. Judgment and justice are about setting boundaries and maintaining objectivity to avoi...
“G-d has given me a good portion.” (Genesis 30:20) Leah’s sixth son, Zebulun, embodies the ability to seek and find the gifts embedded within the everyday. Zebulun was a merchant tribe that partnered with the tribe of Issachar to support their study. Zebu...
“G-d has given me my reward.” (Genesis 30:18) Leah's fifth son, Issachar, embodies the notion of the reward​ that comes from hard work. The painting takes us to the Jezreel valley in the north, where the quilted landscape shows the lush reward of the pion...
“This time I will thank G‑d.” (Genesis 29:35) Judah, Leah’s fourth son, was named for her gratitude. The tribe of Judah, which is the tribe of royalty, embodies the quality of gratitude and humility—the ability to acknowledge one’s wrongdoings, as well as...
“This time my husband will be attached to me.” (Genesis 29:34) The attachment that Leah describes in naming her third son, Levi, is embodied in the tribe’s quality of service. The tribe of Levi is dedicated to G‑d in their service in the Sanctuary, workin...
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