Photo: Elisheva Golani Photography (, via
Photo: Elisheva Golani Photography (, via

I’ll admit that concentration during prayer is not one of my strong points (OK, forget concentration, it’s hard enough to sit and pray altogether). However, the few minutes of prayer after I light Shabbat candles are some of the most focused and intense moments of my week.

After I ask for all the specifics, I always end with a prayer for the immediate Redemption.

Over the years, I’ve worked on visualizing the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) in my mind, as it really helps me focus on my prayer. So I wanted to somehow use the image that I had in my mind during those intense moments of candle-lighting as inspiration for the art that would go in the nook where I light my Shabbat candles.

I needed something that was visually attractive to me. Art is so personal, I know. I happen to love color. I also love the juxtaposition of modern art in an otherwise classic or traditional interior.

I couldn’t have just any piece of art. A mirror would not do, as we cannot pray in front of a human image. Therefore, a portrait was also out of the question. And, of course, I wanted the art to be Jewish art. So, once I had defined the style and subject matter, there was still one problem . . .

I couldn’t afford to purchase a large-scale art piece. So how could I get art of the Beit Hamikdash that still reflected my aesthetics and my current budget? By creating it! I decided to play around on Photoshop with a picture of a Beit Hamikdash model that I found online.

Ideally, I would have created a large piece and then played with color, but I couldn’t find a high resolution file of the Beit Hamikdash. So I used the size I had available and decided to make multiples in different colors, creating one entire piece.

Using Photoshop, I created different files of the same image, each with different hues and saturation levels. I tried to keep it inconsistent and varied, and not to be too strict with it. I’m no Photoshop expert, and I’m sure one could make this into a more sophisticated piece, but to me it feels like art, and that’s what matters. Albeit not perfect, I am beyond thrilled with it.

The piece reflects the various lenses with which we perceive the world. Unfortunately, most of us live our lives as though the reality of a Holy Temple and a Messianic Era is totally foreign and abstract. But I believe that if we open our eyes and adjust our lens, we can actually see how real the Redemption is. By bringing this to the forefront of our consciousness—allowing it to be part of our current reality—I believe we make it into reality.

One day, I might take this piece to the next level, but for now, it does the job of taking my Shabbat prayers to the next level.

I love that the piece screams Jewish tradition while being totally modern. But more importantly, I love that it expresses my personality and aesthetics—a girl with a love of color and an even greater love of Judaism!