coexistence-72dpi© Durga Yael Bernhard

Originally commissioned by a religious publisher, this illustration brings many faiths together in a fanciful rendering of Jerusalem, the holy city where the three great monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam coexist.  My job as illustrator was to forge an image of peaceful coexistence.  I chose to represent this with the use of overlapping transparent colors, reminiscent of stained glass – as if all the houses of worship are one, broken up into a prism of rainbow colors by a single  beam of light – the light of Life, the one God that is revered in all three traditions.

In the Hebrew Bible, the cherubim – mythical, winged creatures with a composite of animal faces – first appear in the Book of Genesis as the guardians of the Garden of Eden.  In the Book of Exodus, they are fashioned of pure, solid gold on the cover of the Ark of the Covenant, their wings spread to form a protective shield.   In the ancient psalms and prophecies, cherubim are likened to angels, or emissaries of the Eternal.  These mysterious creatures appear again in the Christian Bible, and in sacred Muslim texts.

In my vision, the cherubim watch over a tranquil Jerusalem, protecting the peaceful houses of worship.  I added the word “coexistence” later, to make a greeting card design.

Will it take a super-human creature to make this vision real?

Ken y’hi ratzon – may it be God’s will.

Order Coexistence as a GREETING CARD or POSTER this week, and get a free (or extra) greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster; $3.50 per card or pack of six for $18 – shipping included.  Order here.

Happy New Year and a good 2017 to all!

D Yael Bernhard
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