IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Tree of Life Menorah
This is a new oil painting that I just finished a few weeks ago – but like many of my paintings, I started it in my head a long time ago. It was inspired the first time I read the Torah, or Hebrew Bible, in which God instructs the Israelite people to construct the first menorah, or lampstand. The Book of Exodus reads in chapter 25: “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other.” This golden lampstand was one of several sacred objects used in the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that the ancient Israelites carried through the Sinai desert on their 40-year trek from Egypt to Canaan, the area known as present-day Israel. Later, two more candles were added for the occasion of Chanukah.
Since then, the menorah has become a template for an infinite variety of creative designs. There seems to be no limit to the variations that are possible. To me, this archetypal geometry is a beautiful example of a liberating structure. The collection of menorahs at the Jewish Museum in NY alone is almost overwhelming. What an incredible parade of human creativity!
I decided to make my menorah a flat image, since that would free me from having to make it fireproof. I know, cheating – but a sculptor I am not. My menorah is a tree of life, not unlike the original golden lampstand which was fashioned after an almond tree. My tree is more contemporary and less specific. The central candle, known as the shamas (keeper or servant), lights the other candles, and is here turned sideways to resemble an eye.
You can buy this image as a poster or a greeting card! Posters are $10 each including shipping. Greeting cards are $3 each or 6 for $15, also including shipping. This particular greeting card measures 5″x4″, and says “Happy Chanukah” on the front:
Order a poster or cards of “Tree of Life Menorah” this week, and I’ll send you an extra card! The original oil painting is also for sale. It measures 18″ wide. Please email me if you’re interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chanukah begins on the evening of December 6th.
Wishing you a good week,
THE JEWISH EYE – 2016 /5776 calendar of art – new!!