Biblical Subject   |   Biblical Text   |   Artist   |   Word
  Artwork: From the depths to the heights
  Artist: MANDEL, Myra
  Date:
  Technique: Painting
  Location:
  Notes: Psalms 42:6f. Artist's comment: "Psalm 42 of King David is a poem which interweaves a yearning for the joyful times when the temple stood, together with a deep sadness over the exile and the many sorrows which King David forsaw were to befall Israel, and a sure faith that God’s redemption will come. This painting touches both of these emotions – for as deep as the sorrow that the human soul can feel, so is the height of the joy that it is capable of experiencing. The misty, tree-lined shore of the Jordan river at dawn, which appears in the middle, corresponds with the words of verse 7 on the bottom right: “I will remember thee from the land of the Jordan and the mountains of Hermon, from the hills of Mitzar.” In times of trouble, I find comfort in remembering the time when all of Israel, a multitude of people, would joyfully make their way from the farthest corners of the land – even from the far side of the Jordan river and from the Hermon mountains, to bring their offerings of first fruits to the temple in Jerusalem, singing songs of joy and gratitude. The deep canyon touched by the rays of the rising sun echo the words on the top right: “Deep calls unto deep.” In times of trouble, a voice cries out from the depths of the human soul to the infinite depth of the Divine. These sorrows are metaphoricaly described in the continuation of this verse, which appears on the left hand side: “... at the sound of thy waterpipes, all thy billows and thy waves have passed over me.” The imagery of the pipes used in ancient times to conduct rainwater to cisterns, and that of angry waves and crashing billows which appear in the middle blue strip, are symbolic of the many troubles which befell Israel in the exile, each new wave of persecution rising up and threatening to destroy us even before the previous wave of danger had subsided. The time of day depicted in all of the elements of this picture – the pre-dawn mist over the river and the first rays of sunrise breaking over the canyon, symbolise the era of the first signs of the beginning of redemption. On the bottom left are the flowers of Clil Hahoresh, a tree seen all over Israel which bursts into a beautiful mass of white or pink flowers every year before Passover, during the month of Nissan, and symbolise the hope for redemption. Our sages said : “In Nissan we were delivered [from Egypt] and in Nissan we are destined to be redeemed."”
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  Subject: 42f: Longing for God


  Hosts: Art From The Well (Myra Mandel)  [IMAGE]