The word “parsha” means portion. The Torah is divided into 54 of these and the following paintings, made originally on silk, are a response not only to that text but also to the rabbinic commentary in Talmud and Mishna and to the apocrypha that have emerged from this ancient sacred document.
Rabbis write that there are multiple meanings for each word in Torah, starting with the literal and moving toward the more subtle and esoteric. Hebrew as a language itself offers interweaving permutations and relationships as each letter has meanings and even numerical values giving rise to much interpretation of the texts. These images are my modest variations.
In most of the paintings there are references to the Kabbalah and its visual imagery. Kabbalah provides a mystical, meditative and practical approach to spirituality. It is a vast field of knowledge and experience. Among its basic visual concepts are the “Etz Chaim” – the Tree of Life - and the 10 Sefirot that are part of that tree and can be conceived as emanating energy centers with a color associated with each. These are paths to contact with the Ultimate.
the left are reprints of the colored silk paintings of the “parshas.”
(The Hebrew plural is parshiot, but most of my learning has been in
English.) The process in making these allows for a vibrancy of color
and an exaggerated caricature style. On the right side of the pages
are pencil drawings which are improvised from the Haftorahs - selections from the Tanach - the Hebrew Bible - that are read after the Torah portions on each Shabbos. The inspiring quotes are included in italics for these Haftorah drawings.
One more note is about the erotic imagery in many of these paintings. It is said that everyone should write a Torah, this is my version. These depictions are my personal visualizations from the words in the Torah text and commentary and all were inspired by what I read, as there is much reference to the sexual throughout Jewish writing.
I hope what you see here leads to something expansive.