Shearith Israel, Dallas Vision 2000

This painting was commissioned by Shearith Israel, Dallas, to honor the four men who spearheaded the “Vision 2000” campaign. It was dedicated in 2008.

The vision of the prophets, as well as other visions in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scripture), are the subject of this painting.

The focal point of the painting is a mingling of Jacob’s ladder, leading to a bright, holy light. Tending the ladder are three angels, representing the three levels of intelligence: Chochma, Binah and Da’at (wisdom, understanding and knowledge). They are dressed in Crimson, Blue and Purple which are the three colors prescribed by God in Exodus 25:4.

It is in this portion also, that God says: “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” This verse in Exodus refers to the Tabernacle that was a portable sanctuary in the wilderness. After the Israelites had settled the land of Israel, they constructed a Temple under the reign of King Solomon. The image of the Temple, in the painting, is overlaid with collaged images of what is left of the temple today, as well a images of our own “temples” of Shearith Israel throughout the past century.

Standing tall, near the temple is a menorah, as prescribed in this same passage.

The Ark is my interpretation of the Holy Ark that was in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) as prescribed by God, with gold overlay and poles for easy transportation. Superimposed upon it, is an image of Shearith Israel’s holy ark.

Two of the prophets’ most powerful visions are Isaiah 11:6 and Ezekiel 37:1.

In Isaiah’s vision we read: “the lion shall lie down with the lamb”- an ultimate vision of peace on earth.

In Ezekiel we read about his vision of the resurrection of the dead, which in my interpretation, is the birth of the state of Israel, following the incomprehensible tragedy of the Holocaust. This is symbolized by a tree sprouting the Hebrew Alphabet.

This is a painting about the visions of the past and a vision of hope for the future. This is a world that breaks free of the chains that bind us to useless and destructive precepts, a world of peace, where the whole world pays homage to God.