Tishrei/Cheshvan - "Bein Ha'Or U'vein HaChoshech"

Dividing Light and Darkness

God Divided the Light From the Darkness With the high holidays behind us, Books and Blintzes is looking forward to the new Jewish year, full of creative inspiration and meaningful connections.

The Jewish Text Art Challenge, our monthly showcase for Jewish art related to a particular verse from our tradition, is a centerpiece of our mission. We’re here to share Jewish art from around the world, to build a community to discover and celebrate these works, and to develop new and stronger links with our heritage.

We selected Genesis 1:4 (ברשית א:ד) as the verse to start off this year, as a way of highlighting our commitment to the creative process. Division, separation, categorization, making choices… these are all things that we do every day. But we hope that they push us forward, whether it is to complete a task, allow us to spend our resources (especially our time!) more judiciously, or see our vision come to life in our art.

As the month goes by, Books and Blintzes hopes that you will join the conversation about this verse. Show us your work. Tell us what these words mean to you. Reach out to artists whose work speaks to you. We can’t wait to see what this month will bring!

To contribute to this month’s Jewish Text Art gallery, please complete the contact form on the main Jewish Text Art Challenge page at https://booksandblintzes.com/home/jtac/

Elul - Avinu Malkeinu

Jamie Shear – Loving Kindness

loving kindness shear

Jamie Shear’s giclee print “Loving Kindness” is a striking example of how the idea of chesed inspires art and action. The image includes select biblical texts that call for and celebrate kindness. Just as chesed is at the center of this image and texts, so too is it central to the High Holiday liturgy and Avinu Malkeinu.

To read more about Jamie Shear’s art and this image, please visit http://www.ktavtam.com/products/loving_kindness

Books and Blintzes thanks the artist for allowing us to share her work. Please respect her creative and legal rights, and do not distribute, copy, or share this image without her consent.

Elul - Avinu Malkeinu

Avinu Malkeinu – Singing Together

The congregational singing of the Avinu Malkeinu prayer can be as central to the holiday’s liturgical experience as hearing the blast of the shofar.

This sheet music is from the collection “Hava Nashira” (Let Us Sing), published in Leipzig in 1935.

The Hebrew text and multiple recordings of this melody

can be found at:


Elul - Avinu Malkeinu

Avinu Malkeinu – Blessed – Rae Shagalov

The marriage of text and art to inspire spiritual growth is the foundation of artist Rae Shagalov’s work. In her piece “Avinu Malkeinu” and its accompanying text, the power of prayer and its ability to bring blessings are paramount. To see and read more about Rae Shagalov’s art, please see www.joyfullyjewish.com and www.holysparks.com.


Elul - Avinu Malkeinu

The Shape of Avinu Malkeinu – Marlene Burns

marleneburns©2017. All rights reserved

I discovered this beautiful painting by Arizona-based artist Marlene Burns and was immediately drawn in by the vibrant colors and sense of fluidity. When I saw that its title was “Avninu Malkeinu‘, I knew there was even more to the story.  Thank you to Marlene Burns for sharing, in your own words, the inspiration and special meaning for this painting.

We appreciate the artist giving us permission to share her work on booksandblintzes. Please respect her creative and legal rights – do not share, copy, or alter this image in any way. For more information about Ms. Burns and her art, please see www.art-MarleneBurns.com


Elul - Avinu Malkeinu, Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries

Elul – Humility and Grace

The beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul signals the beginning of the Jewish people’s preparation for the High Holy Days. Special prayers are added to the daily service, including the “Avinu Malkeinu”. In this prayer we ask God to watch over us in the coming year, and it culminates in our plea for justice, righteousness and deliverance. We become humble before God and pray for grace.

This month’s Jewish Text Art Challenge will feature art in a variety of media inspired by the Avinu Malkeinu prayer. If you have work that you would like to share, please fill out the contact form on the main Jewish Text Art Galleries page https://booksandblintzes.com/home/jtac/.

Av - Nachamu

Needlepoint Comfort – Chaim Parchi

We were mesmerized by the colors and fluidity in Chaim Parchi’s needlepoint design. With the words of “Nachamu – comfort” surrounding images of Jerusalem, Parchi’s design embraced us. We couldn’t help but wonder how the completed needlepoint would feel under our fingertips, magnifying how our sense of touch is connected with the idea of comfort and safety.

Thank you to the artist, Chaim Parchi, for his permission to use this image, and to Doreen Finkel at www.artneedlepoint.com for connecting us. More information and his other work can be found at http://www.artneedlepoint.com/artists/parchi-chaim.