"Rise Up" presents the figure of Bezalel standing in front of the parted curtains of the mishkan, revealing the ark and ner tamid of Temple Ahavat Shalom within. Its title comes from a speech bubble in Bezalel’s cloak: “Simply rise up to the task at hand,” reflecting the choice that each person must make to contribute to the building of a community.
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In the Book of Shemot (Exodus) we read that Bezalel has been named by God to build the mishkan — the desert tabernacle which houses the tablets Moses received on Mount Sinai. The name “Bezalel” means “in the shadow of God,” and it is written that God granted him skill in all of the arts in order to design and build the mishkan — but he was not solely responsible for its construction. We are told that all of the Israelites — each member of the community — contributed what they could: their goods, their talents, their commitment to the community’s goals. In "Rise Up," Bezalel represents each individual Israelite then and now, coming together in a kehillah kedoshah — a sacred community.
Midrash tells us that God showed Bezalel a heavenly model for the mishkan, which Bezalel represented in his plans; the blueprints he holds in this papercut reflect the movement of planets and heavenly bodies in the skies. Bezalel’s hammer and his clothing are constructed of cut-up Thor comics; just as the person who can lift Thor’s hammer is deemed worthy to control its power, so too does the person who commits to picking up a hammer (or any gift) in service of the community find the power to help; it is the choice to rise up and serve that gives one the power to do so.
The blue, purple and crimson of this papercut match the colors of the mishkan as described in Shemot 36:35-37, while at the same time, the brown wood of the ark and jagged lines of the ner tamid (eternal light) are modeled on the sanctuary at Temple Ahavat Shalom. There are speech bubbles and panels throughout the piece, hinting at more midrash. The bit of green grid in the blueprints comes from a Green Lantern comic; John Stewart was an architect when gifted with the green will-powered ring, and many of the creations he built with it to protect and defend others reflected his original calling.
The background comics include:
- All-Star Western #3 (January 2012)
- Automatic Kafka #1 (September 2002)
- Batman #23.3 (November 2013)
- Buck Rogers #2 (July 2009)
- Daredevil #49 (September 2003)
- Etc.: Book One (1989)
- FF #1 (April 2014)
- Green Lantern #165 (June 1983)
- Justice League of America #7.3 (November 2013)
- The Names #3 (January 2015)
- Promethea: Book Five (2005)
- Revival #16 (December 2013)
- Secret #1 (May 2012)
- Shazam! Power of Hope (November 2000)
- Silver Surfer #9 (August 2015)
- Superman Unchained #9 (January 2015)
- Thor #395 (September 1988), #616 (December 2010), #615 (November 2010), #619 (March 2011)
- Thor #2 (October 2007), #6 (February 2008)
- Astonishing Thor #1 (January 2011)