Image of the Week
© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD
Widow, Orphan, Stranger
This illustration was painted some years ago as part of a series of Biblical illustrations. I was assigned one of many passages in the Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament”) which uphold the importance of protecting those in need. The prohibition against ill-treating the widow, the orphan, or the stranger is repeated in the Torah 33 times! These ancient archetypes are meant to invoke compassion and acts of kindness. Today we could add many others, including the sick, the homeless, the war-wounded, and more.
I thought to post this image today because for Jewish people, the yearly cycle of Torah readings has just entered the Book of Leviticus – the central of the Five Books of Moses, and in many minds the pinnacle of Torah teachings. Here we find the oldest written form of the “golden rule” – Love They Neighbor As Thyself – as well as the famous quote on our Liberty Bell – Proclaim liberty throughout all the land . . . ” – and many ethical and moral injunctions which have stood the test of time to this very day. Kind treatment of the widow, the orphan, and the stranger is among these.
In the illustration, adversity is portrayed as natural disasters – flood and fire – from which the encircling community protects the widow and orphan ( in ancient times, a fatherless child was considered an orphan, since an independent woman could not earn a living or protect herself). Divine intervention for those who are alone often takes the form of caring friends and neighbors – an unspeakable blessing in times of need.
Order Widow, Orphan, Stranger as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)! $10 for the poster and card, shipping included. Order your poster here!
Wishing you a good week, and happy Spring!
D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of