This site is a collection of paintings and drawings and films that are a personal expression inspired by the words and interpretations of the Torah and Haftorah.
The video here is an unpacking of a longer 25 minute video called the HAFTORAHS. Start here to get a glimpse and check out the longer one under videos.
There are four sets of images on this site inspired by th 54 parshas, portions, from the Tenach, the five books of Moses; and the haftorahs which are selections from the prophets that are read each week.
Every week in synagogues around the world, a section of the Torah is read. The Torah is divided into 54 portions – called parshas. And after each parsha, a selection from the prophets is also read, and these are called the Haftorah.
The following paintings and drawings are responses not only to the text of the Torah and Haftorah, but also to the rabbinic commentary in Talmud and Mishna and to apocrypha that have emerged over the centuries.
I created the first set of paintings and pencil caricatures from the Haftorah over a six year period. I was at the time working as a filmmaker. My biography is here on this site. And over the last four years using the iPad I have done a second set of visual responses and I am presently working on the third set, part of which is here as well.
Rabbis write that there are multiple meanings for each word in Torah, starting with the literal, and moving toward the more subtle and esoteric. Hebrew, as a language itself, offers interweaving permutations as each letter has symbolic and even numerical values, all of which give rise to much interpretation of the text. These images are a variety of my improvisations.
In many of the paintings there are references to the Kabbalah and it’s imagery. Kabbalah is the spiritual path of Judaism. It provides meditative, mystical and practical guidance. It is a vast field of knowledge and experience. And in many of the following imagery there are reflections of Kabbalistic concepts including a basic one that has a visual component called the “Etz Chaim” – the tree of life, and it divides into 10 energy-like centers called Sephirot that are part of this tree. Each of these has colors associated with it.
Making images from these inspired words is a challenge. At one time because of the second commandment, which forbids making idols, image making was frowned upon until the last two centuries when Jewish graphic artists began to express themselves.
I took on these projects as a personal assignment of doing a drawing for each week. It has been fun and a challenge and an opportunity to get closer to Torah. But, I must admit these images are mostly surface and just touching the edges of the depth one could go and can go into the teachings.
Each of the paintings and drawings is followed with my commentary often explaining what I have pictured and why.
It is said that everyone should write a copy of the Torah during their live times. These are my versions.
I hope the images entertain, provoke and inspire you to further examinations and insights and encourage you to explore more these remarkable writings.