Freedom of Prayer 2012
This is a painting which I recently completed. It is a mixed media piece using oils, acrylics and materials combined. The light streams in from the ceiling of the synagogue, shining on all the people deep in prayer.
When I was a child I once visited a grand synagogue in Tzfat with a circular theme, and guilded ceilings. This stuck in my head and formed the platform for this painting years later. I wanted to give the feeling of vastness and grandeur to the viewer.
World War II has just ended. The Jews who were once held captive and oppressed are now set free! They remain in their vivid stripes of captivity. Each Jew has a different background and connection to Judaism.
Yom Kippur is approaching, a high holy day. The European Jewry enter what was once a forbidden territory, their much longed for Synagogue. The walls and ceiling are broken around them, Yet the light streams in from the heavens in promise. The people, weak and full of awe, look up to their beloved Rabbi and without prayer books begin to pray. The Rabbi pensively begins with the words 'Shema Yisroel... Heaven, hear my holy prayer.'
The people, speechless, gaze upwards at the birds' ascent to heaven. They are finally given the 'Freedom of Prayer.'