Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, Tammuz - Two Tablets of Stone

Jewish Text Art Challenge – Tammuz – The Two Tablets

Jewish Text Art Challenge - Tammuz

In the middle of summer and the Torah reading cycle firmly in the book of Bamidbar (Numbers), why does this month’s Jewish Text Art Challenge text come from the book of Shemot (Exodus)?

This verse, which is part of the famous narrative of the Ten Commandments and the golden calf, is also part of the Torah reading for minor fast days. One of these is the 17th of Tammuz, which commemorates the day the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem, beginning the siege that ultimately led to the destruction of the Temple. It also marks the start of a three-week long period of mourning in the Jewish calendar that culminates on the 9th of Av.

The Torah reading for the minor fast days speaks of the covenant between God and the Jewish people. This image of Moses preparing to renew this relationship with the creation of the new tablets stands as a counterpoint to the images of loss and devastation that characterize the three weeks. It reminds us that even when the Isrealites appeared to be beyond redemption, their connection with God is never fully destroyed. In this way, even as the 17th of Av makes us mourners, it nevertheless cautions us not to give in to despair.

Over the next month, we are looking forward to sharing art that speaks to this balance of sorrow and hope and highlights the bond between God and the Jewish people.

Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, Tammuz - Hagid Lecha Adam הגיד לך אדם

Mah Tov – Asot Mishpat

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.Asot Mishpat Book Cover

Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, Tammuz - Hagid Lecha Adam הגיד לך אדם

Micah 6:8 – Jewish Text Art Challenge Tammuz 5778

Micah 6:8 Tammuz CoverThis 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:

Justice.

Mercy.

Humility.

We look forward to featuring works that represent these ideals from our tradition, and the works of those who are inspired from these words.

 

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

Celebrate Our Artists

Thank you to the following artists for sharing their creativity and inspiration during the July/Tammuz Jewish Text Art Challenge:

Featured musicians: Rick Recht, Danny Maseng

 

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

D’rash Design – Inspired Commentary

Artist Christina Mattison Ebert began the “D’rash Design Project” in 2012, creating pieces that expressed her interpretation of Jewish texts. Drawing on the weekly Torah portion, haftara (selection from the Prophets) and holidays, she ultimately crafted over 60 works of art. This is one of her images for the portion Balak.

From the artist:

“How fair are your tents, oh Jacob, your dwelling places, oh people Israel!” is one of my favorite verses in the Torah. Spoken by a non-Jewish prophet (Bilam) upon seeing the Israelite encampments in the wilderness, this line is unique because Bilam had originally come to curse the Israelites so that the Moabites could defeat them in war. Bilam recites a full poem in praise of the Israelite encampment, which you can read in Numbers 24:5-9.

Thank you to Christina Mattison Ebert for her permission to share this image and description. You can learn more about her work as an artist and illustrator at http://www.cmattison.com/. More about the D’rash Design project including other images, is available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/drashdesigns.