Urban Manger


Here is another illustration that I was commissioned to do for a Christian publisher some years ago.  I’m not Christian, but the idea of rebirth in times of darkness is familiar to me.  The birth of baby Jesus is associated with the rebirth of spiritual light.  Chanukah, too, is a celebration of the rebirth of light – the light of rededication and new beginnings.  Pagan traditions celebrate the return of sunlight at winter Solstice. Light among darkness, good amidst evil, hope within despair are common spiritual themes in all religions.

My progressive publisher encouraged me to revision Christian symbolism in modern terms.  What better place for the holy manger than a city?  The sense of renewal and hope that comes along with the birth of a child is like a shining light.  Even in an urban environment, the miracle of nature can be found – and even in a poor neighborhood with tenements and clotheslines, wonder and potential may be born.

So I made this image into a holiday greeting card, which you can order here for $3.50, shipping included.  Scroll down here to find other holiday cards.

Soon the light will increase again!  Whatever you celebrate, wishing you a holiday season of good winter cheer and renewed hope.

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE 2018 / 5778 Calendar of Art
LOVE IS – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVEExplore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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