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  Artwork: Balaam
  Artist: RAANAN, Yoram
  Date: 2002-03
  Technique: Painting
  Notes: Numbers 22:5f. Artist's website comment: "In this awe inspiring rendition of Balaam riding the articulate ass, Yoram Raanan uses shades of Blue to depict an episode that has impressed itself deeply on the memory of Israel, as a significant act of God's grace toward the people. Raanan’s use of the Blue and White theme suggests the connection of the story to the main colors that has been historically associated with Judaism. The tzitzit (fringes on a 4 cornered garment) were white (head of the ass), with one thread of techailet (a shade of royal blue) on each corner. The blue in the painting is to remind us of the heavens, and therefore, of God. By not painting his facial features, Raanan portrays Balaam as a modest and “faceless” man who genuinely cared for the plight of all of the peoples of the world, in accordance to the teachings of the Aggadah and Talmud who associated modesty with prophecy.. 'The seven prophets who prophesied to the peoples of the world' (Baba Bathra 15b; 'God raised up Moses for Israel and Balaam for the peoples of the world'—Num. R., 20:1; Tanhuma., Balak, 1). “No prophet like Moses had risen in Israel, but such a one has risen among the peoples of the world. Who is he? Balaam the son of Beor. But there is a difference between the prophecy of Moses and that of Balaam. Moses did not know who spoke with him but Balaam knew.... Moses did not know when [God] would speak with him till he was addressed by Him, whereas Balaam knew.... Moses did not speak with Him till he had stood up... whereas Balaam spoke with Him as he was falling' (Sifrei. Deuteronomy)."
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  Subject: Balaam

  Hosts: Yoram Raanan  [IMAGE]