In the beginning we read that G-d blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because on that day G-d ceased from all the work G-d had done. And then began the work of Man, who was created in the image of G-d. Man created Drama. Sometimes competition brought out the best in human nature. Hands, visible and invisible, appeared in many artworks. Family Drama is a given… We can find wisdom in the teachings, in the imagination and in our hands.
I found this untitled saying framed in Maris Berg’s home. It was written by a relative. I thought it captured the work week and the Shabbat day beautifully. I asked Barb Winnerman to use this saying in an art piece. The back drop of the saying is the light of the sun at different times in the course of a day.
“Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy till nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely till the sun goes down. And this is all that LIFE ever really means.”
The seven rows of sheaves of wheat represent the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. On Shavuot we read the Book of Ruth. Under Boaz’s protection Ruth along with other gleaners gathered wheat from the threshing floor. Shavuot, more than any other holiday stands for wheat and sustenance. Every Shabbat we bless the double portion of challa thanking G-d for bringing forth the bread from the earth.
Chana Cromer, Jerusalem
Messengers of Peace
After returning home from the synagogue on Friday night the following is sung:
“Peace be unto you, ye ministering angels, ye messengers of peace.”
Chana Cromer, Jerusalem
If not for the spiritual enlightenment of the Sabbath, and the unity of the Jewish people, the challot might be green with envy.
Rabbi Max Weiman
We all see things differently. We are unique. Our vision defines us.
This painting, to me, depicts imprisonment and hope; the holocaust victim maintaining symbols of Jewish tradition. Wine, candles, and the challah. And above all, prayer with God as a cover, protecting his people – Always.
This challah cover was made in the province of Kerala (pronounced KE re la) in India under the auspices of Sarah Cohen, one of the very last white Jews of the city of Cochin, India. The white or European Jewish community of Cochrin in Kerala, in southern India, dates back 400 years to the time of the Inquisition in 16th century Europe. However, the presence of Jewish merchants in India dates back much further, to the time of King Solomon, when Jewish traders came to India in order to bring back ivory, spices, peacocks, and apes.
Centuries later, sometime around 1000 C.E., Joseph Rabban was received as a king by the Indian Raja at Chingley (also called Cranganore). A set of copper plates were given to Joseph Rabban, giving him the privileges of royalty and the right to levy taxes and collect tolls in Kerala and exempting him and his people from the payment of dues to the Royal Palace. These rights and privileges were given to the Jews of Kerala in perpetuity, so “so long as the world and moon exist.” In 1568, Jewish refugees from the Inquisition in Europe built a synagogue in Cochin on a plot of land given to them by the local raja, directly adjacent to the raja’s palace.
The Jewish community of Cochin, Kerala, India is nearly extinct today as the young people have made aliyah in the years following the establishment of the State of Israel.
(Summarized by Laurie Bennett from The Last Jews of Kerala, Edna Fernandes, Viking Press, Penguin Books, New Delhi, India, 2008).