What can the spirit accomplish?
How does our faith help us to break the chains of oppression?
“Not by might and not by power; but by My spirit! declared Adonai, God of Hosts” (Z 4:6)
This verse comes from haftara portion that we read the Shabbat that occurs during Chanukah, and celebrates the faith that allows us to reach our goals. Whether we are working towards an independent objective or a greater communal goal, this text reminds us to consider the spiritual impact of our accomplishments, both for ourselves and for our communities.
Force and sheer will can only move us so far forward. During this month, BooksAndBlintzes will feature art that is inspired by and showcases the relationship between creativity and faith. How does it drive us? And what does it empower us to achieve?
We look forward to sharing with you!
The covenant between God and creation acts a sign of welcome in this piece by textile artist Paula Shuchat Miller.
BooksandBlintzes thanks the artist for allowing us to share this image of her work. To protect her legal and creative rights, please do not copy or distribute this image without the express consent of the artist.
The Jewish Text Art Challenge verse for the Hebrew month of Av comes from the book of Lamentations (Eichah). The 9th day of the month was traditionally set aside as a fast day to commemorate the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Over time, the day itself, and the weeks leading up to it, has become a period of mourning, during which the community reflects and remembers times of persecution.
Eichah includes a great deal of suffering, describing in graphic detail, some of the awful punishments afflicting the Jewish people at the time of the ancient expulsion. The verse for the challenge comes at the exact halfway mark of the book, and is one of a very few mentions of goodness. It also reflects the strength of the relationship between God and the Jewish people. At one of the darkest moments of the nation’s history, there is still opportunity to connect with the Divine.
Does anyone recognize the “Mah Tov – Asot Mishpat” workbook from 1970? The UAHC publication by Abraham and Adaia Shumsky encourages students to think about how to contribute to a better, more just world. BooksandBlintzes chose to share the book’s cover image as a showcase for asot mishpat, highlighting this action as an ongoing effort of nurturing growth, and its impact on other living things.
This month’s #JewishTextArtChallenge is inspired by the words of the prophet Micah. Read as the haftara accompanying the Torah portion Balak, the prophet’s message gives the people a concise prescription for following God:
We look forward to featuring works that represent these ideals from our tradition, and the works of those who are inspired from these words.