Wednesday, February 8, 2012

El na r'fa na la

I've been working on a "healing" piece lately for a possible book cover project -- here's what I've come up with. It's a combination of papercutting, watercolor, and digital collage.

This work is based on the eponymous episode in Bamidbar (Numbers) 12:13 in which Miriam falls ill and her brother Moses prays to God saying, "Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee" (which is what the title of this work means in English).

I've represented Moses's hands reaching up and out towards the heavens, represented by seven blocks of watercolor; these blocks stand for the seven pillars of cloud which protected the Israelites on their journey through the desert. Behind the cut-out hands is a portion from an old Torah commentary that had been headed for ritual burial in the genizah.


  1. Isaac,
    I like the white hands reflecting the white scales of leprosy.



  2. Thanks, Joel. The hands play a couple of roles in this piece; they are Miriam's stricken hands, of course -- but also Moses' hands reaching up to God in prayer, and also "our" hands, pondering mortality and God's will.