Another Installation Adventure

” It really looks like it belongs here. ”  That’s what one of the congregants said to me when the installation of my artwork was complete.That’s the best compliment anyone can give me. The donor wall was designed to enhance the entryway of Ahavath Torah Synagogue in Englewood, New Jersey and to honor the generous people who made the beautiful new building possible. The colors looked beautiful in the lobby and the gold and glass mosaics really sparkled in the natural light from the glass entryway.

Randy and the crew from Welch Architectural Signage did a fantastic job of installing the artwork.It went up quickly with only a few areas that had to be adjusted because of the slight curve in the wall. Randy did an outstanding job of positioning the tiles to cover the seams and filling in all the screw holes. We finished ahead of schedule  allowing enough time to stop for a real New Jersey Kosher Corned Beef Sandwich for the trip home.

No matter how many times we’ve done this and no matter how much I try to plan for every situation, there are always suprises. It’s very rewarding to get a chance to meet new people and see their faces when the artwork goes up. It’s always an adventure!

ARTIST STATEMENT

“And they came, every man whose heart raised him up and whose spirit lifted him, and brought the offering to G-d”

The quote chosen for the Ahavath Torah Donor Wall is found in the Torah portion describing the building of the Mishkan designated to be the dwelling place of G-d on earth. “Let them build me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them”.

A stylized Menorah with seven branches spreads over the donor names like a tent.  This recalls that the Mishkan is called “The Tent of Meeting”. The golden branches of the Menorah come together and reach down to the ground. At the center of the Menorah there is a golden stamp replicating an ancient depiction of the Ark of the Covenant (mosaic from the 6th Century, Beth Shean).

The six days of creation are abstractly portrayed between the branches of the Menorah, suggesting the Rabbinic interpretations connecting    G-d’s creation of the universe with man’s creation of the Mishkan (Bamidbar Rabbah 12:13)*.

The rays of scarlet, purple, blue, gold, silver and bronze radiating downward from the Menorah represent the details of the Mishkan as described in the Torah. Pieces of mirror will be used along with handmade tiles and glass mosaic to recall the women’s generous donation of their mirrors for the Mishkan furnishings.

This artwork fulfills the commandment of hiddur mitzvah just as the Jews at Mt. Sinai did as they built the Mishkan.

Through my artwork, I  humbly attempt to portray a spark of the spirit of the Jews at Mt. Sinai.  It is an honor to present this artwork to inspire and recognize congregants of Ahavath Torah. It is my hope and prayer that this artwork will highlight the lessons of the Mishkan and “lift the spirits” of those who have so generously donated to the congregation.

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