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In 2000 I visited Israel for the first time. I was spiritually moved by the experience, and upon returning home began to create a piece that combined the land and history of Israel with my Jewish upbringing. My love of Safed inspired me to imbue this work with Kabbalistic spirituality.

The piece begins at the base, with an element of my own history: a home rich with Yiddish culture, specifically food, which is represented by the inverted chicken soup kettle. The slide carousel on top of the kettle represents my actual trip to Israel – the sights, sounds and experiences. The Aliyah – “ascent” or, in this context, the migration to Israel — is denoted by a rake, the farming tool of the pioneers who transformed the land. The violin represents the culture and beauty of Israel that I witnessed, while the bow symbolizes the battles of ancient Israelites and wars that have shaped the character of the State of Israel.

But the Aliyah is a spiritual ascent as well. The Zohar, a mystical commentary on the Torah, teaches of sefirot, spheres in which God’s presence and His qualities are encountered. The spheres rise upwards, culminating in the highest one, keter. Keter means crown, and is represented by the shining Torah breastplate on top of the piece.

Archery bow, violin, rake, Torah breastplate, other mixed media objects
76 x 56 x 20 in.

[Hover over the image to magnify it]