July/Tammuz "Ma Tovu Ohalecha Ya'acov" How Goodly Are Your Tents O Jacob

Balaam’s Perspective – A Blessing From Above

Darius Gilmont’s painting “Parshat Balak” is all about perspective. We get to share Balaam’s view of the Israelite camp, and wonder if such a sight would also lead us to pronounce the words of “Ma Tovu“. Are the people aware that Balaam stands above them? Can they hear his blessing? With bright colors and simple shapes, Gilmont focuses on Balaam and provides a sense of order and intention to the text.

Darius Gilmont is a painter based in Ra’anana, Israel who connects his work to the “naive art” and “symbolist art” genres. To see more of his paintings, including others that depict Torah texts, please visit his website at www.darius-art.com.

Books and Blintzes thanks the artist for his permission to use this image. Please do not share, copy, distribute, etc. without his consent.


July/Tammuz "Ma Tovu Ohalecha Ya'acov" How Goodly Are Your Tents O Jacob

The Blessing of Community

Artist Susie Lubell’s colorful im3 Lubellage of the Ma Tovu text highlights the vibrancy of the Israelite community. The words of the blessing embrace the diverse buildings and trees, uniting them within a common vision of peace and faith. Each home and plant is different, yet they stand close together, overlapping and connecting with each other to make the whole. The image’s brightness creates an atmosphere of celebration, security, and vitality. It is a blessing for the community and all who are included in its shelter.

Susie Lubell is a self-trained artist now living in Israel. She originally created this image with watercolor paint. To see more of her fine art work, please visit her website at www.susielubell.com. You can also visit www.milkandhoneyartshop.etsy.com to view prints of her watercolor paintings.



Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, July/Tammuz "Ma Tovu Ohalecha Ya'acov" How Goodly Are Your Tents O Jacob

A Mezuzah to Bring the Blessing Home

Shraga Landesman is a Haifa-based artist who invites you to link your home to the ancient Israelite camp. He crafted this mezuzah case as “a moving tribute to the strength of the Jewish home”.  Hanging a mezuzah on the doorpost is a clearly visible sign of Jewish ownership, demonstrating the willingness to be recognized as part of the community. The words from the blessing Ma Tovu express the hope that this connection will support peace and tranquility in the home.

For more information about the artist and his work, please see http://www.landesman-shraga.israel.net/ Thank you for giving us permission to share your image and your words.

This is the description that accompanies the mezuzah case.

Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, June/Sivan "Ki Asher Telchi Eilech" Where You Go I Will Go

Celebrating Our Artists



Thank you to the following artists and organizations for sharing their creativity and inspiration during the June/Sivan Jewish Text Art Challenge:




July/Tammuz "Ma Tovu Ohalecha Ya'acov" How Goodly Are Your Tents O Jacob

Ma Tovu – How Goodly Are Your Tents

The Torah portion “Balak“, which comes from the Book of Numbers and is read during the Hebrew month of Tammuz includes Balaam’s blessing of the Israelites. Although he had been hired to curse the people, his “eyes were opened” and at the moment, was moved to praise, rather than censure. The rabbis incorporated this verse into the daily morning prayer service, when at the time that people enter the synagogue, they recognize the value of coming together as a community.

מַה-טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ, יִשְׂרָאֵל

“How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwellings, O Israel”

This month’s Jewish Text Art Challenge Gallery will feature media that represent artistic understandings of this blessing. Join the conversation by sharing which ones speak to you, and your own creations that praise the values of community and klal Yisrael.


June/Sivan "Ki Asher Telchi Eilech" Where You Go I Will Go

Ruth and Naomi – Starting Over


As the two women made direct eye contact in this vibrantly colored piece, Ruth’s words are underlined as a declaration for starting over, establishing a new understanding of what their life together could become.

“Ruth and Naomi – Shavuot” by textile artist Carol Racklin-Siegel. Dyes on silk, created in 2003.

To see more of Ms. Racklin-Siegel’s work, please see her website at http://www.pomegranatestudios.com.

BooksandBlintzes thanks the artist for permission to share this image of her work. We request that you please respect her creative rights and do not copy, share, distribute, etc. this image without her express consent.

June/Sivan "Ki Asher Telchi Eilech" Where You Go I Will Go

Joining A People

This image spoke to us because of its simplicity; a few words, and a few sheaves of wheat, reflect actions that changed Ruth’s life and that of all her people.

About the artist:

Kim Phillips is a Judaica artist working in Monteagle, Tennessee. She discovered the art of Jewish papercutting on her first trip to Israel in 2006. “As a convert to Judaism, I dove into text study and was overwhelmed by the imagery and deep meaning found in them. I resolved then and there to learn the craft. My goal has been to merge the visual and textual parts of Judaism, and to bring the creative tradition of papercutting forward in a modern way.” More of Kim’s work can be seen at www.hebrica.com. She studied at Pardes in Jerusalem and holds a pararabbinical certification from Hebrew Union College-JIR in Cincinnati.

Thank you to Kim Phillips for allowing BooksandBlintzes to use this image. The artist maintains all rights over this image and it may not be copied, shared, distributed, etc. without her express permission.