Living with the Parsha
לחיות עם פרשת השבועה

The Torah is divided into 53 Parshas or portions,
which are read
publicly in the synagogue
on the sabbath during the year.
Chassidus teaches us to
"Live Each Week with the Parsha":
to find relevance and advice
from the weekly Torah reading
regarding our individual life adventure.
The following images  selected from photos
of some of my abstract illusionist paintings
and videoart "converted" גיור כהלכה
and given new Judaic titles and contexts
are a kind of work-in-progress
for a future book or catalogue
(if funding is found)
which will attempt to envision
all the Parshas
as well as sections
from Sefer Yetzira
and the Jewish Holidays 

  to act as a
visual stimulus
and springboard to meditation
and further study.

Parshas Bereishis (Genesis) - בראשית

Conceiving the Universe - The Big Bang


acrylics on canvas 30" x 30"  (76 x 76 cm)

Viewing the painting with anaglyphic glasses
reveals the masculine/feminine components



Bereishis בראשית

airbrush/acrylic on canvas
30” x 40”  (76 x 102 cm) 

According to Jewish philosophy
the world was created
ex nihilo
by the Hebrew letters and words

of the Ten Divine Utterances
in the first chapter of Genesis
and in particular
the first word 
which is the subject

of the entire book of the Tikunei Zohar.
There the various permutations of its letters
are examined and explicated
and one of them
can be read
Barah Shis 
ברא שית

He created Six (or Foundation)

is the source of inspiration
for this work and the one below


The Sacred Letters


Each of the 22 Hebrew Scribal Letters
is a specific modality
through which
the spiritual influx enters reality
and their written "form" hints as to how
they appear in their source above
as celestial energies:
"Black Fire on White Fire".

The Birth of Eve


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

Eve was created from Adam’s rib, צלה
which also can mean in Hebrew, Shadow.
How a man views the opposite sex 
is a shadow of his own self-esteem.


Eve and the Serpent


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

The confrontation of Eve and the Serpent is one 
of the most mysterious "stories" of the Bible 
and is the subject of many deep studies.
The serpent נחש has the same gematria (358)
and is connected to the Messiah משיח
who will rectify this mundane world,
which is called by the Kabbalah,
the "Skin of the Serpent", משכא דחויא
releasing all of its holy sparks
and trapped energies.




  Parshat Noach - נח

The Waters of the Flood - המבול

elongation #7

acrylics on canvas
10" x 26" (26 x 66 cm)

The waters of the Flood

are called מים רבים

being overwhelmed & confused

by troubles in life.

We can be saved by

entering into the Ark : התיבה

which in Hebrew means

also the Word,

the words of Prayer and Torah.

The Vortex of No Return


acrylics on canvas
37" x 37"  (94 x 94 cm)

The waters of the Flood
also contained boiling hot springs
from which no one could escape:
"Hold my hand as we drown together into

the Black Hole of Oblivion"


Parshat Lech-Lecha - לך לך

Going Away and Going Inward


In this Parsha (Genesis 12:1),
God is commanding Abraham
with the unique phrase Lech-Lecha
לֶךְ לְךָ
repeating two words with the same letters
but with different meanings.
The first lech
 לֶךְ is a verb command: Go!
The second lech
a לְֶךָ is a preposition often
translated as "away from" but more
accurate may be "into yourself"
Actually both are correct, because
when you totally leave your "comfort zone"
of acquired habits and materialism
you can then enter into your true self,
your inner soul and the spiritual dimension.
This transformation I compare
to what astronomers describe as
the experience of the Black Hole
and "singularity"
being reduced to nothingness
by the enormous force of (God's) gravity.
Passing through this Black Hole
we will see that the "other side" is really
"The Land which I will show you"

אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ

This idea I have tried to render in an adaptation
of above painting in video art on YouTube:



The three words after the phrase 
לֶךְ לְךָ
מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ
"from your country and from your birthplace
and from your father's house"
can refer to "going away" from
from our different mindsets
or various "ologies", such as
מֵאַרְצְךָ your country = politics-ology
מִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ your birthplace = sociology
מִבֵּית אָבִיךָ
your father's house = psychology

Abraham's Prophecy

Abraham's Vision

mixed materials on canvas
40" x 50" (102 x 127 cm)

The Patriarch Abraham
was ordered to pass through
a set of animal carcasses

(Genesis 15: 7-15)
to receive the frightening
prophesy of the Exile,
not only to Egypt,
but for all the exiles
(including the Holocaust)
that his descendants would suffer.

Parshat Vayeira - וירא

The Three Angels Visiting Abraham

3 angels

mixed materials on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נִצָּבִים עָלָיו

He looked around and saw - behold three angels
(in the form of men) standing in front of him.
(Genesis 18:2)

The three Angels were sent

to perform specific missions

according to their characteristics

in the Divine Chariot,

as envisioned by my artist-wife:

Yael Avi-Yonah OBM.

Michael - מיכאל - the Angel of Chesed or Kindness

announced the future birth of Isaac

Gavriel - גבראל - the Angel of Gevura or Severity

was sent to destroy Sodom and Amorah

Raphael - רפאל the Angel of Healing

  cured Abraham from the pain of the circumcison
and also to assist Lot and his family to flee

What is missing is the Fourth Angel of the Chariot,

namely Uriel - אוריאל - the Angel of Mercy

אוריאל = 248 = אברהם

Uriel has the same gematria as Abraham!

And we can see the investment of this Angel
in Abraham's pleading to avert the destruction
of the evil cities.

Lot as a Joker


mixed materials on canvas
24" x 18" (61 x 46 cm)

Lot tried to persuade his two
scoffing Sodomite sons-in-law
to flee with him
to avert the impending destruction

but they looked upon him
as a joker/comedian. (Genesis 19:14)

A common "reality denial" of the wicked.

The Messianic Shofar

mixed materials on canvas
  23" x 37 1/2" (60 x 95 cm)

The ram that was sacrificed
in place of Isaac was

a special creature designated
at the time of Creation.

From it was made one horn or shofar
that was heard
at Mount Sinai.
The second horn will be heard

at the advent of the Messiah.


Parshat Chayei Sarah - חיי שרה

The Passing Away of Sarah: Death and the Resurrection


trptych - acrylics on canvas
26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm)

Why Abraham did not mourn greatly
the passing away of Sarah.
From the phrase in Psalms 115:17 -
"The dead can not praise You
nor can those who
descend into Duma
(the Silence of the Grave)".
The Grave הקבר is likened in Talmud
to the uterus of the woman.
In the process of procreation
the man "dies"
but his seed after nine months
is resurrected
with the birth of a child
and a new generation.

Ma-arat HaMachpelah -מערת המכפלה

The letter HAI ה  Doubled



The burial place for Sarah chosen by Abraham
(Genesis 28:9)
is called
Ma-arat HaMachpelah מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה
which can mean a cave with a double entrance
(two levels one on top of the other)
or a cave containing "pairs":

  referring to the holy pairs - זוגות
Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah,
Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah
who are (to be) buried there.

מכפלה can also be read
- ה
Doubling the Hebrew letter HAI - ה
  and refers to the two
HAI letters
in the Holy Name of God
(when read vertically).
  The lower HAI represents Malchut
and the upper HAI - Bina.
This doubling is also congruent with
the Lower and Upper Garden of Eden,
the abode the soul in the afterlife.

The form of the
HAI indicates expansion
into the three dimensions of breadth, length,
and depth (the disconnected leg of the
is seen as a line going perpendicular
to the plane defined by the two connected legs).
In order for the soul to experience divinity,
it has to assume "dimensions", a sacred space,
so that a sentient being can integrate it
into his own consciousness.

Making Your Wife Happy


וְהִנֵּה יִצְחָק מְצַחֵק אֵת רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ
And behold! Yitzchok is "jesting" with Rifka, his wife
(Genesis 26: 18)
Yitzchok (Isaac) and Rifka (Rebecca)
are the first officially married couple
in the Torah
and the above phrase is an important teaching

about the duty of a man to his wife:
namely to make her happy by all means possible.
including jest and play.
That the word "Rifka" precedes "his wife"
indicates a necessary sensitivity to the
needs and personality of the woman
beyond her being a sexual object.

More information  at
Kosher Sex

Parshat Toldot -

Yakov (Jacob) and Eisav (Esau)


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 40" (102 x 102 cm)

The conflict between Yakov (Jacob)

and Eisav (Esau)

as a metaphor for the struggle

 within our own brain

between the good and evil inclinations.

Another way of understanding the conflict:

Yakov or (as he is later called) Yisroel (Israel)

is the earnest yeshiva boy who would like

only to sit and learn in the Tents of Torah study

separated from material reality.

וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם יֹשֵׁב אֹהָלִים

Eisav is the "potential" Baal Tsuvah who fails

his mission to elevate his great energies

and falls into the depths of evil.

To correct this Yakov has to change his

character and learn to deal with

the duplicity of the world

emulating the external trappings of Eisav,

but retaining his inner spiritual voice:

הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב וְהַיָּדַיִם יְדֵי עֵשָׂו

The voice is the voice of Yakov

but the hands are the hands of Eisav

(Genesis 27:22)

The Liver versus the Heart


diptych -airbrushed acrylics on canvas

18" x 36" (46 x 92 cm)

The Zohar describes the above conflict in a
surprisingly anatomical context.
Eisav from birth ruddy אַדְמוֹנִי
is the Liver - both being
The Tribe of Eisav is Edom אֱדוֹם (the color red)
who thus associates with the red lentils
for which he sold his birthright
הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן-הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶּה
"Stuff that red stuff down my throat!"
and bloodshed
שְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים.
His planet is of course Mars

The Liver (originating as the placenta)
can be considered the "first born"
in the development of the embryo,
its job and function being to filter
the bad blood and nutrients.

Yakov is the Heart
the essential organ which distributes

the good blood throughout the body
including the Brain.
Although the Liver is a much larger
organ (in size) than the Heart
it must work in tandem
and accept the "leadership"
of the smaller Heart, according to the prophecy
at the beginning of the Parsha (Gen 25:23):
וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר 
The Elder (or the larger) will serve
the Younger (or smaller)

If Eisav as the Liver refuses to accept this
then the body and the world can not survive.

This finds correlation in the combined
gematriot of the Hebrew words

for Liver כָּבֵד
and Heart לֵב
כבד = 26
(which is also the gematria for
the name of God)
לב = 32
Together they have gematria of 58
which equals חֵן Harmony or Grace.

Parshat VaYeizei
- ויצא

Jacob's Ladder


mixed materials on canvas
30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

The fabulous ladder dream of Yakov (Jacob)
is a paradigm for the act of prayer.

At every rung we are accompanied 
and tested by angels
whose wings carry our words 
and aspirations
to the higher chambers. 

Kabbalah Genetics

One of the strangest episodes in the Parsha
is Yakov's "genetic manipulation"
of the phenotypes of his flocks to
counter the trickery and deceit of Lavan,
who represents the
לובן העליון 
the Supernal Whiteness
 that transcends all "color" and classification
and because it is beyond classification,
it bridges opposites and can transform
everything into its very extreme,
for good and for evil.
Yakov here precedes
by 3500 years
the research of Gregor Mendel,
the father of modern genetics!
He is even helped by a prophetic dream:

וָאֵרֶא בַּחֲלוֹם וְהִנֵּה הָעַתֻּדִים הָעֹלִים עַל הַצֹּאן
 עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּבְרֻדִּים

"I see in a dream and behold all the males
mounting the flocks were with markings
that were "ringed" or "spotted" or "striated".  
(Genesis 31:10)

According to the Kabbalah these "markings"
represent three stages in the contraction
of God's infinity from Adam Kadmon to
the world of Atzilus or Emanation.

עֲקֻדִּים  Ringed

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
30" x 30"  (76 x 76 cm)

In this stage all the spiritual energies
that would later evolve into discrete
sephirot or lights are
in one "glob" all bound together.

נְקֻדִּים Spotted


polymer emulsions on canvas

27 1/2" x 19 1/2" (70 x 50 cm)

From the primordial glob
emerge discrete sephirot or lights,

each as separate entities
and unwilling to connect with each other,
described as the World of Tohu
and ultimately become shattered
in what is called the
Shattering of the Vessels שבירת הכלים

בְרֻדִּים Striated


mixed media (acrylics, painted rings & marbles) on canvas, 

27 1/2" x 38" (70 x 97 cm)

In this designation the sephirot
are connected with each other
by striations and links
  to form a holy Parzuf or Face,
allowing for inclusion and interaction,
which is the classic Etz Hayim mode.

Only Yakov has the ability to bring down
the sublime energies hidden within
Lavan the Supernal Whiteness
and the Ringed level עֲקֻדִּים
because he is associated  with
Tiferet תפארת the integration of
Hesed (Abraham) and Gevurah (Yitzhak)
which is quality of Truth אמת
תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב (Micah 7:20)

"Render Truth to Yakov"

Of all the Hebrew letters only
the Letter VAV
 ו is called the
  the Letter of Truth אות האמת
because of its ability to descend
and break through to the lower realities
as suggested in the video art below:



It is thus significant that the name Yakov יעקב
is written with a VAV
in only one phrase in the Torah
וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב
Then I will remember my covenant with Yakov
(Leviticus 26:42)
Coming after the terrible curses which will
afflict us if we go contrary to God,
suggesting that the Truth of Yakov will prevail

Parshat VaYishlach - וישלח

Jacob Wrestling With Angel


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 40" (102 x 102 cm)

When Yakov (Jacob) crossed the Yabok River,
which has deep mystical implications.
he encountered the Angel of Eisav (Esau),
with whom he wrestled the entire night
of the symbolic Galut גלות
and mundane consciousness.
At the redeeming “Dawn” גאולה
the Angel conceded
the battle and from then on
Jacob was called Israel ישראל
(which can be read in Hebrew,
ישר א-ל Direct to G-d)
 the highest spiritual connection.

(Genesis 32:26)

Solace in Sorrow: The Birth of Benjamin


וַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ כִּי מֵתָה
 וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן אוֹנִי וְאָבִיו קָרָא לוֹ בִנְיָמִין.

And then as her soul was departing,
for she was dying,

she named him Ben-Onee
(son of my sorrow)
but his father named him Ben-Yamin,
which could refer to his being
the only son born in the South
(the land of Canaan - Israel)
or the son born in the "days"
of his old age.

This Parsha is always read during
the month of Kislev whose emanating Tribe
according to Sefer Yetzira is Benjamin.

Afterwards Yakov (Jacob) set up
a monument at her grave
by the roadside in Bethlehem
and continued on his journey,
which is an important instruction
on our mourning process.
(Genesis 35:16)

As he later confessed to Joseph,
Yakov regreted that Rachel would not
be buried in the Kever Hamachpela,
but was driven by a prophetic vision
that Rachel's tomb would be a source
of comfort and solace for the Israelites
passing it on the way to Babylonian Exile
and the promise for their Return.

וְיֵשׁ תִּקְוָה לְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ...וְשָׁבוּ בָנִים לִגְבוּלָם

There is hope in your final destiny...
and the sons will return to their borders
(Jeremiah 31:16)

Parshat VaYeishev - וישב 

Being Thrown into an "Empty" Pit


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

ָוַיַּשְׁלִכוּ אֹתוֹ הַבֹּרָה וְהַבּוֹר רֵק אֵין בּוֹ מָיִם

They (the brothers) threw him (Joseph)
into the Pit
and the pit was empty without water.

The Rabbis teach us that
  although the pit was "without water"
it was not completely empty
but contained snakes and scorpions.

The Pit can seen as a metaphor
for our thinking process
and if the input is without the
waters of Torah and the spiritual
it will never be empty and thus
susceptible to the negativism
of the Extraneous Forces.


Joseph & Potiphera's Wife


mixed materials on canvas 40" x 40" (102 x 102 cm)

Joseph (a small thumb like figure with
beret in bottom middle)


was tempted
by Potiphera’s wife

(depicted as a giant cobra on top),
 but resisted when he saw a telepathic vision
of his saintly father - Yitzchak (Isaac)
(small apparation on middle left).


We also can be helped against our temptations
by having visually accesible
a photograph or painting of a holy rabbi.
such as the portraits of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
by my deceased wife, Yael Avi-Yonah OBM



Freehand acrylic on canvas : 31 1/2" x 27"  (80 x 69 cm)
Quality poster :14 1/2" x 12 1/2 (37 x 32 cm)

Parshat Mikeitz - מקץ

Efraiyim and Menasheh

airbrush / acrylic on canvas
diptych 16” x 32” (40 x 80 cm)

And Joseph called the name of the first-born
Menasheh - מנשה
כִּי נַשַּׁנִי אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל עֲמָלִי וְאֵת כָּל-בֵּית אָבִי

'For G-d has made me forget
all my toil and all my father's house.'
(Genesis 41:52)

The letters מנשה Menasheh
can be rearranged
to spell נשמה Soul
and as such represents
the Divine Soul in man.
Menasheh suggests the
power of the Tzadik (Joseph)
to make us forget the hardships,
trials and tribulations of this world,
with the anticipation
of the joyous coming of Mםshiach.

Menasheh became the designated Tribe
for the month of Mar-Chesvan
according to Sefer Yetzira

And the name of the second
he called Efraiyim - אפרים
 כִּי-הִפְרַנִי אֱלֹהִים בְּאֶרֶץ עָנְיִי
For G-d has made me fruitful הִפְרַנִי
in the land of my affliction.
(Genesis 41:53)

Being "fruitful" is the power
to procreate in marital union.
This derives from God's
first commandment to Adam
on the day of his creation,
the first of Tishrei.

Being fruitful can also apply
to any creative activity
where we bring into world "children" -
new visions and spiritual energies,
actualizing potentials
that have been blocked.

Efraiyim became the designated Tribe
for the month of Tishrei
according to Sefer Yetzira:

Parshat Vayigash - ויגש

Judah Confronts Joseph


acrylics on canvas  33" x 33"  (84 x 84 cm)

We learn from Judah's extreme efforts
to save his brother Benjamin
our requirement as healers and teachers
to rescue our brothers
who are being held "captive"
by the Viceroy of Pharoah
the mind-trap of the
 constricted consciousness of Mitzraim.

Joseph vs Judah and the Future Monarchy


In this Parsha, Joseph the Viceroy
is the ruling presence
and Judah is the suppliant
but his rule is only temporary.
When the kingdom of Israel will be
established with the reign of David
the relation will be reversed.

Joseph and the Mishkan

Joseph is associated
with the Mishkan or Tabernacle,
also a temporary and transient structure
which was a template for
the Chain of Hierarchy in Nature,
השתלשלות - here ascending from
the inanimate domain דומם
(such as the earth and metal spikes)
to the vegetable הצומח
(the wooden boards that made up the walls)
to the animal החי
(the skins and wool that covered the top).

The dominant feature of the Mishkan were
the massive cedar boards which surrounded it,
which relates to the upright Zaddik or righteous one
sharing with the perennial trees
the quality of continuous growth.

צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְׂגֶּה

The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree
he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

(Psalms 92: 13)

Judah and the Bait HaMikdash


Offset lithograph 240 gram 'Finland' paper
Image size 17 
1/2" x 23 1/4" (45 x 59 cm)

Whereas the Bait HaMikdash or Temple
which is associated with King David
and his descendants was

designed to be a permanent structure
and made almost entirely
of the stone - the inanimate.
This symbolizes the desire of God to have
a "dwelling place" in the lowest levels
דירה בתחתונים
and reveal there his Divine Presence.

The "stone" can also be assigned to the

lowest level of the society namely
  amongst the common, uneducated people
who the Baal ShemTov revealed
to contain outstanding faith in God
even higher that those who regarded
themselves (or were regarded by others)
as a complete Zaddik or Righteous One.

This can explain why to the descendants of
Judah as the Baal Tsuvah (The Repenter)
were eventually bestowed the Monarchy
Joseph the Zaddik:

במקום שבעלי תשובה עומדין
צדיקים גמורים אינם עומדין

The "place" where Repenters reach
the completely Righteous can not stand.
This is because they can bring into
the world a New Light higher
than the natural Hierarchy,
changing their sins into merits.

Revealing the power of the stone
can also describe the transformation
of the status of women
who were likened in the pre-chassidic era
to a group without an identity and voice,
certainly not to learn torah and be
educated and are now
our moral impetus and compass,
so much so that it is in their merit
we will be worthy of the Geula.

Parshat Vayechi - ויחי

Jacob's Blessing for Benjamin


airbrushed acrylics on canvas 30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

Benjamin is a vicious wolf
 בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב יִטְרָף

(blessing this tribe to be ferocious in battle)
(Genesis 49: 27)

One can make a sardonic comparison to

Isaiah's (11:6) famous messianic prophecy:
"A wolf and a lamb
will live (peaceably) together"

וְגָר זְאֵב עִם-כֶּבֶשׂ
referring here to Israel's (now the Lamb) future
relation to its 70 enemies (now the Wolf)
who will be around
but won't (be able to) harm, being toothless.

The problem is that so far

the toothy "Wolf" in the painting
has not yet read Isaiah.
(perhaps the prophet does not translate
well into Arabic or Persian)

Oops! Poor Dumb Lamb!

It is interesting to note that Moses' blessing
for Benjamin
in the last Parsha of the Torah:
VeZot HaBracha
- וזאת הברכה
has a more peaceful connotation
and relates to the Tribe's future location
(actually a small protrusion into the boundary of Judah)
upon which the Holy Temple
in Jerusalem would stand.

Perhaps to achieve again this exalted vision
we need first the realistic ferocity of Benjamin the Wolf.


mixed materials on canvas  30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

לְבִנְיָמִן אָמַר יְדִיד י-ה-ו-ה יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח עָלָיו
 חֹפֵף עָלָיו כָּל הַיּוֹם וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵן

About Benjamin he said: May God's beloved
dwell securely with Him (in the Bait HaMikdash).
May the Divine Presence cover (and protect) him
forever and dwell among the high places.

The other Blessings which Jacob bestowed
upon the Tribes largely inspired my painting
on the
Names of the Twelve Tribes
incised on the gemstones in the Kho-shen חשן
(the Breastplate of the High Priest)


airbrush/acrylic on canvas on 12 mounted canvases
62" x 48" (158 x 122 cm) 

The Secrets of the Names of the Tribes

הסבר בעברית

Benjamin is also associated with the month of Kislev
according to Sefer Yetzira


Parshat Shemot - שמות



acrylics on canvas  40" x 40"  (102 x 102 cm)

And the midwives said unto Pharaoh:
 'Because the Hebrew women
are not as the Egyptian women;
for they are "like animals" חיות
and they can deliver by themselves.'
(Exodus 1: 19)

In the beginning of our learning & growth
we usually need a "midwife", a teacher, a rebbe
to help us give birth to and gain a new insight.
The ultimate stage should be
when we will be able to "deliver" by ourselves.

God's first message to Moses

at the Burning Bush

אֶ-הְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶ-הְיֶה

"I will be what I will be"

(Exodus 3: 14)

is one of the most profound phrases

in the Torah and with many interpretations.

    One hint to this is that the first

and last word: אֶ-הְיֶה

is itself one the most Holy Names of God

associated with the sefira of Keter

(and because of its holiness

it should be pronounced Ak-yeh).

The middle word Asher אֲשֶׁר

share the same letters for

the Hebrew word Osher אשֶׁר

joy and happiness.

which is the essential mind state

for receiving prophecy.

The middle letter in this phrase Shin ש

represents the Element of Fire אש

and the Shin ש "on fire" suggests
the spiritual context of the Burning Bush
(Exodus 3:2)
וְהִנֵּה הַסְּנֶה בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ וְהַסְּנֶה אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל

And behold the bush burned with fire
and the bush was not consumed

which is envisioned in the video art below:



The central idea of this phrase
אֶ-הְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶ-הְיֶה

"I will be what I will be"

is that God can
be understood and revealed

to our finite and limited intelligence,
especially during the painful periods
(The Burning Bush)
of what seems to be
the concealment of Divine Providence
only in the "denouement" of events,
such as the Megila of Esther,
the Megila of the History
of the Jewish People
and the Megila or His-Story
of each and
everyone's life journey.

Parshat Va'eira -  וארא

The Ten Plagues

The ten plagues can be interpreted according

to the classical Ten Sefirot model in reverse.

Seven in this Parsha from Malchut to Chesed

(the modalities of the emotions)

Three in following Parsha from Bina to Keter.

(the modalities of the intellect and beyond)

The Plagues come to attack and rectify

the bad and evil energies trapped

in the Ten Sefirot of Impurity

by Pharoah in Hebrew פרעה

whose letters can spell הערף

"the back of the neck"

and certainly apply to our own

יצר הרע or evil inclinations,

which is why we are called

"a stiff-necked people"

כִּי עַם קְשֵׁה עֹרֶף אַתָּה

(Exodus 33:3)

still dominated by the

mind sets and mental slavery

of Mitzrayim and the Galut.

The First Plague - Blood  - דָם - Malchut


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

The belief that Nature (especially the Nile River)
can be controlled and "engineered"

 embodied the source of the Egyptian
arrogant confidence and security

and was therefore deified
as a power in and of itself
and revered as the very source of life.
The bloody "slaughter" of this concept
opened up the pagan mind
to the presence of a Higher Master.

This arrogance can also apply to those

fine liberal people יפי נפש

who love to imagine they are drinking

from the cool clear intellectual waters

of a creed of humanism without God.

The plague reveals the "bluff"

of what is really behind all this -

their hot blood of anger,

particularly with whoever

disagrees with them.


The Second Plague - Frogs - צְפַרְדֵעַ -  Yesod

havdalah #2

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
17" x 35"  (44 x 89 cm)

The plague of the Frogs attempted to rectify

the fallen sephira of Yesod caused by the

the debauched habits of the Egyptians.

The frogs' cold slimy bodies covered every inch

of the land and entered their houses

and even the bedrooms,

cooling off their lust and sexual ardour

which was their raison d'etre.

The Third Plague - Lice - כִּנִים -  Hod (Acknowledge)


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 40" (102 x 102 cm)

When the plague of the dust

turning into lice occurred,

all of the magicians acknowledged
that it was the “Finger of G-d”
אצבע אלו-הים
since regular magic can not affect
such small creatures,
whereas Divine Providence
is in every aspect of creation.
The acknowledgement of God's mastery
is the beginning of spiritual service
and should induce a positive humility
that even if we are like dust before Him,
we are still with Him .
With the ego-deflated Egyptians
the dust turned into lice
causing a deep depression,
  a pseudo humility which sucks out
a person's blood, depriving him
of his vitality and energy-flow


The Fourth Plague - Mixture of Wild Animals - עָרֹב -  Netzach


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
27 1/2" x 36" (79 x 92 cm)

The fourth plague to harass the Egyptians
consisted of hordes of wild animals
and also snakes and scorpions
roving all over the country,
and destroying everything in their path.
That they attacked in a "coordinated" way
like a disciplined army
was a tikun or rectification
to the Egyptian's evil Netzach 
which attempts to achieve Victory at all costs
by deceitfully "orchestrating" the events.
The Jewish use of Netzach נצח is suggested
in many of the Psalms which begin
with the words: לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר

A prayer by the Conductor Orchestrator


The Fifth Plague - Pestilence - 
דֶּבֶר -  Tiferet (Mercy)


 acrylics on canvas

The fifth plague was a severe epidemic
on the cattle in the field,
but came with a prior warning, showing
the amelioration of judgement with mercy and
the Egyptians who complied were spared.
Only those who did not were punished.
יַד י-ה-ו-ה ה-וֹיָה בְּמִקְנְךָ
(Exodus 9:3)
Behold the Hand of God is on your cattle

This is hinted that the merciful name of
was changed to its permutation ה-וֹיָה
which is associated according to Sefer Yetzira
with the month of Menachem Av,
the month of severe judgement.

The Sixth Plague - Boils -  שְּׁחִין -  Gevurah


mixed materials on canvas
24" x 18" (61 x 46 cm)

The plague of boils, unlike the others,

came without a mitigating warning

and applied to all of the Egyptians

wherever they were and

who were made numb from the pain.

indicating a terrible gevurah or severity

from which very few recovered.

That is why we must pray daily to be

protected from debilitating illnesses

which put us into a condition

where we are unable to beg

for salvation.

The Seventh Plague - Hail -  בָּרָד - Chesed


polymer emulsions on canvas
  27 1/2" x 19 1/2" (70 x 50 cm)

The plague of Hail בָרָד
was strongly aligned with Chesed
since the Egyptians were given a day's warning
to secure their livestock in shelters beforehand,
any man or beast left in the open would die.
The Hail was quite miraculous and destructive
in that within the large icy balls
burned a blazing flame,
the normally opposing elements of
Fire and Water now working together. 
וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּרָד

(Exodus 9:34)
Many of the Egyptians followed the warning,
but this was ultimately applied against Israel,
since the surviving horses were used
with Pharoah's chariots to attack
the Israelites at the encounter by the Red Sea.

There is also a lesson for us
with regards to the "selective" destruction
of the plants: only those with strong
unbending stems or trunks were destroyed,
 by contrast what survived
were the supple and flexible
(a trait of tsuvah and repenting).

Parshat Bo - בא

The Eighth Plague - Locusts - אַרְבֶּה -  Bina


polymer emulsions on canvas
  27 1/2" x 19 1/2" (70 x 50 cm)

"And the locusts went up
over all the land of Egypt
and they chewed up all the plants"
(Exodus 10: 13-15)
Chewing and processing
our received phenomena
is a kabbalah analogy
to the sephira of Bina -

This is the ability of intellectual inquiry:
the approach of the Talmud.
It allows us to explore the universe,
improve our lives and discover
the higher moral calling of the human family.
Yet the very same power may
serve as a tool to rationalize
every evil practiced under the face of the sun,
and to justify every destructive lifestyle or habit.
leaving in its wake a desolate society
"The Wasteland"
bereft of spiritual values and absolute principles.

The Ninth Plague - Darkness - חֹשֶׁךְ - Chachma


acrylics on canvas
37" x 37"  (94 x 94 cm)

There was a thick darkness
in all the land of Egypt three days;

they saw not one another,
neither rose any from his place;
but all the children of Israel
had Light in their dwellings.
(Exodus 10: 21-24)

The Light in the Darkness (of the Mind)
is a kabbalah analogy

to the sephira of Chachma- חכמה

This can be understood as the ability
to accept new ideas and concepts that emerge
unexpectedly from the supra-conscious.
The arrogant Egyptians
(and with them many "assimilated" Jews)
with their fixed mindsets
could not change and accept a new input
and thus remained in the darkness.

The Tenth Plague - The First Born - בכורות - Keter


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

This terrible plague can be understood
the basic Biblical context of
"measure for measure" מידה כנגד מידה
(How you mistreat others, so will be the retribution.)
God declared that "Israel is My first-born"
(Exodus 4:22) בְּנִי בְכֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל

Yet Pharaoh wished to enslave them
 for all eternity, thus it is fitting
that God would punish him by killing
all of Egypt's first-born sons.

After the Tenth Plague
the Israelites were commanded

to celebrate Passover - Pesach
eating the pascal lamb

and the matzas, the unleavened bread
to prepare for delivery from Egypt

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת הַמַּצּוֹת כִּי בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה
 הוֹצֵאתִי אֶת צִבְאוֹתֵיכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם

And you shall observe the feast
of the unleavened bread
for in this very day
I have brought your hosts
out of the land of Egypt.

(Exodus  12: 17)

Voyage into the Matza Interior


An extended comparison via video art of the
"round" hand-kneaded matza and the full moon.
Extreme close-ups of the matza texture
turn into a remarkable "lunar"
and even otherworldly landscape
replete with crevices and craggy mountains.
The micro becomes the macro and vice versa.
With a modern music (electronic & flute) track,
which gives it a special ambience.
It even has the sound effect of the artist
munching noisily on a matza.

Some low definition samples from the composition
(with a "stream of conciousness" sound track)
are available on YouTube:


  Part One: https://youtu.be/nGJYaEvqr7k

Part Two: https://youtu.be/I8qtqroA-90

Part Three:

For more information on Matza Video press this line link

Parshat Beshalach - בשלח

Crossing the Red Sea - קריעת ים סוף

red sea

acrylics on canvas 10 1/2" x 16" (27 x 40 cm)

The biblical story of the Crossing of the Red Sea
is explained by the Rabbis to be a prophetic
revelation achieved by the entire Israel nation.
The sea, which is the hidden domain, suddenly
became a solid or revealed dimension
without the accompanying contractions and
filtering that this process usually demands.

The "story" also contains the 72 three letter
words of divinity, as revealed by the Zohar
generated by combinning
three consecutive sentences,
each uniquely made up of 72 letters.
(Exodus 14: 19-21)



acrylics on canvas  40" x 40"  (102 x 102 cm)

According to kabbalah sources,
the Crossing of the Red Sea process
is analogous to being born, the water of the
embryo sac bursts and what is revealed
is the solid, the crying child
entering a new and challenging reality.

The embryonic state is likened to the Galut.
פֶּה-לָהֶם וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ
אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יַאֲזִינוּ אַף אֵין יֶש רוּחַ בְּפִיהֶם

They have a mouth but cannot speak.
They have eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear.
They have a nose but cannot smell.
(Psalms 135: 16-17)
The above phrase obviously refers to
the futility of idol worship,
but its inner context relates to
the Galut of the Mind when we are
not realizing our full spiritual potential
because of our worship
of our own ego idol.

Crossing the Red Sea was a necessary
mind-opening precondition
for receiving the Torah at Sinai,
when the Israelites experienced
total synaesthesia:
וְכָל הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת הַקּוֹלֹת

And all the people saw the voices.
(Exodus 14:14)

Marah - Bitter Waters


airbrushed acrylics on canvas  30 x 40"  (76 x 101 cm)

It is incredible that shortly after the "grand
experience" of the Crossing, the Israelites
showed a lack of faith in God
and complained and regreted their Delivery,
when they encountered the bitter waters
of Marah, which Moshe "sweetened"
by throwing within the pools a "Tree".
(Exodus 15: 22-25)
At Marah the Israelites began to be taught
the complex laws of the sabbath
and other subjects, that serving
God is not just an "experience" or "trip"
but entails responsibilities and this
can be "bitter" if not "sweetened"
with the Tree of Life,
the inner dimension of the Torah.

Amalek - עמלק


acrylics on canvas  26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm) 

As a punishment for doubting God
Amalek came and attacked
the Israelites at Refidim -
which in Hebrew suggests
רפיון ידים
the weakness of the hands (of faith).
Against this threat Moshe was obliged
to uplift his hands during the battle
וַיְהִי יָדָיו אֱמוּנָה
(Exodus 17: 12)

Parshat Yitro - יתרו

Receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai


mixed materials on canvas
40" x 40" (102 x 102 c

When the revelation
of the Receiving of the Torah
Mount Sinai was aflame along with

the hearts and souls of the Jewish people.

A "mountain" in Jewish Ethics
is associated with Pride - התנשאות
a character trait to be certainly avoided.
So Mount Sinai is thus praised
  as being a "modest" and lowly mountain
But if self-effacement is the desired trait
why was Torah not given at the Dead Sea,
the lowest place on earth. 
Why on a mountain at all?
The answer is that we need to have
a minimum amount of
 "mountain" or pride in our personality
to have the courage and power
to start our day in learning Torah
and performing the commandments
against our inclinations and lazy nature.

The Secret of the Alef


The Letter Alef א
is the first letter of the first word

in the Ten Commandments
אָנֹכִי י-ה-ו-ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ
 אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם

I am the Lord your God
who has delivered you from Egypt
(Exodus 20: 2)

The Letter Bais ב is the first letter
of Genesis Bereishis

and its name means Bayis or House,
indicating God's desire to have
a habitation in this world

which he created ex nihilo.

The Alef is the other-worldly letter
whose unique form is a diagonal
which implies transcendence
combining and beyond
the vertical line of hierarchy
and the horizontal of total equality.

alef video


The Alef is formed by two Yuds,
one to the upper right
and the other to the lower left,
 joined by a diagonal Vav.
Yud (10) + Yud (10) + Vav (6) = 26
The gematria for the name of God.
 The Yuds represent
the higher and lower waters
and the Vav is the firmament
רקיע between them
as described in
Second Day of Creation.
The transcendent Vav
has the ability to connect
and bear opposites or paradox
נושא הפכים
of the the two Yuds
representing heaven and earth.
fire and water,
the drive to exalt God and
yet feel one's lowliness.

What is remarkable is that
the first word
of the Ten Commandments

is of Egyptian origin,
even more so since this word
represents the Name
of God's Essence.
The Rabbis teach us that
the use of this "foreign" word here
is to show God's ultimate desire that
the Torah descend to and transform
the lowest possible levels of reality.
even to the depraved culture
of the Egyptians and
  its modern day continuation
in our hedonistic world.

Parshat Mishpatim - משפטים

This Parsha contains many laws that
determine an individual's responsibility
for damages done to others
by himself or his property
and would seem to be "similar"
to other secular law systems
being used in the world
to maintain a just society.
But since these laws were divinely
ordained at Sinai, they contain
many elements which can not be
understood by rational jurisprudence
and thus require us to search
their spiritual applications

The Laws of Negligence

bull goe

acrylics on canvas 33" x 33"  (84 x 84 cm)

 וְכִי יִגַּח שׁוֹר אֶת אִישׁ אוֹ אֶת אִשָּׁה וָמֵת
If a Bull gores to death a man or a woman
(Exodus 21:28)

Only when a Bull gores three times
שור מועד Shor Mu-ad
is its owner completely responsible,
since the Bull is likely to continue
to be a danger.
Within our psyche we also have a Bull,
נפש הבהמית the animal soul
and if we sin three
consecutive times
it becomes our dominating nature,
requiring an intensive Tsuvah -
deep repentance to correct.

The Vision of the 70 Elders


airbrushed acrylics on canvas 30" x 30"  (76 x 76 cm)

They saw a vision of the
God of Israel and under His feet

something like a sapphire brick
like the essence of a clear blue sky.
לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם לָטֹהַר

(Exodus 24:10)

G-d's "bricklaying" was in empathy
with suffering of the Jews in Egypt
who were forced to build the pyramids

Parshat Terumah - תרומה

The Cherubs - הַכְּרֻבִים


acrylics on canvas  40" x 40"  (102 x 102 cm)

The Cherubs were two golden "statues"
above the Ark of the Covenant.

(Exodus 25: 19-20)
Our Sages explain that

the Hebrew word for cherub: כְּרוּב
is from Aramaic and means "as a baby." 
The cherubs had baby faces
which represents innocence
and the loving touch of their wings
reflects the epitome
of pure, innocent love and harmony
between G-d and the Jewish people.
When this love was disrupted
the "faces" of the cherubs
would change
and become fearful and angry.

The "changing faces"
is the theme of my Dialogue series
as a paradigm
for relationship and communication
as in the Slide Show below:




Parshat Tetzaveh

The Names of the Twelve Tribes in the Kho-shen


12 tribes

Airbrush/acrylic on canvas on 12 mounted canvases:
62" x 48" (158 x 122 cm) 
Other sizes and versions on special order
as well as paintings of individual names in Hebrew.

An assemblage of twelve original paintings
representing the names of the Tribes of Israel
as they were incised in the gemstones of
the golden Kho-shen חושן
or breastplate of the High Priest.
Each painting reveals a unique style and
color palette, inspired by teachings
from the Midrash and Kabbalah.

The Twelve Tribes

For more information in Hebrew  - עברית

Parshat Ki Sisa -
כי תשא

The Cosmic Man - What Moses Saw

what moses saw

oil on canvas 25 x 35 inches

וְרָאִיתָ אֶת אֲחֹרָי וּפָנַי לֹא יֵרָאוּ

You will see My Back (Existence)
but My Face (Essence) can never be seen
(Exodus 33:23)

An interpretation by Yael Avi-Yonah OBM
of the highest prophetic vision of Moses,
when he "saw"
the dalet shaped knot of God's tefillin,
which encircles the cosmic man image.
Within the visage
is a simulation of our galaxy

with a "black hole" in the middle,

 from the phrase of the Psalms (18:12):

יָשֶׁת חֹשֶׁךְ סִתְרוֹ

The Darkness carries His Secret


Link to Video Art on the letter DALET

The Fiery Face of Moses


mixed material on canvas 25" x 39"

וְהִנֵּה קָרַן עוֹר פָּנָיו וַיִּירְאוּ מִגֶּשֶׁת אֵלָיו
(Exodus 34:27)

After Moses descended from Sinai
his face was luminous
with a brilliant light and
everyone was afraid to approach him.
Hence the injunction
that one should learn Torah only
from a teacher
whose face is like a fiery angel.

Link to Video Art:

Parshat VaYakhel  Pekudei - ויקהל פקודי

Sabbath Without Anger


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
36" x 28" (92 x 71 cm)

לֹא תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת

One should not "kindle fire"
in all of your habitations.
(Exodus 35:3)

This includes the inner dimensions during
the special experience of the Sabbath,
to completely refrain from
the fires of anger and conflict,
allowing only love and unity.
The phrase inspired my series of paintings
based on close-up views of
congealed clumps of wax that fell off
from the burning Sabbath candles
by themselves
and without "human" intervention
and as such represent
something sublime and angelic.
I call them Songs and they suggest to me
the yearning of two souls to finally unite
and fly to the heights
and beyond the obstacles
in the material reality that deter.

Visions of the Temple

The Haichal (Sanctuary) - Inner and Outer Space

inner/outer space

     mixed materials on canvas  30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

The central structure
in the Miskan and the Temple,
the Holy of Holies קדש הקדשים
or the Inner Sanctuary
(suggested by the
translucent schematic lines)
correlates to the Cosmic Brain
which through the Ark of the Covenant
engendered the mystical experience
of being within the dimensions
of time and space
and beyond them simultaneously.

The Altar - Sublimation of the Animal Energies


mixed materials on canvas  30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

The Altar in the Mishkan and theTemple
(suggested by the black schematic lines
of an "overhead" view)
symbolizes the service of the heart in prayer
whose fires have the power of kindling
the sacrifice of our "animal" soul and nature,
sublimating its vast energies
to help us reach spiritual heights .


Parshat VaYikra - ויקרא

The Small Alef


mixed materials on canvas  30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

The first word of Leviticus:

וַיִּקְרָא  אֶל מֹשֶׁה

(God) called to Moses
is written in the Torah
with a small ALEF א
to designate Moses' ultimate humility,
which allowed him
to enter the Holy of Holies.

The ALEF is the other-worldly letter
whose unique form is a diagonal
which implies transcendence
combining and beyond
the vertical line of hierarchy
and the horizontal of total equality.

alef video


The ALEF is formed by two YUDs ,
one to the upper right
and the other to the lower left,
 joined by a diagonal VAV.
YUD (10) + YUD (10) + VAV (6) = 26
The gematria for the name of God.
 The YUDs represent
the higher and lower waters
and the VAV is the firmament
רקיע between them
as described in
Second Day of Creation.
The transcendent VAV
has the ability to connect
and bear opposites or paradox
נושא הפכים
of the the two YUDs
representing heaven and earth.
fire and water,
the drive to exalt God and
yet feel one's lowliness.

Parshat Tzav - צו

stones 10

airbrushed acrylics & mixed materials on canvas
24" x 18" (61 x 46 cm)

אֵש תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא תִכְבֶּה
The Fire burning
always and eternally
on the Altar of our Heart
are our yearnings for God
which can never be extingished.

I found it appropriate to envision
this idea
with a painting
from my Stones on Fire series

which montage the
Transcendental Textures
of the Kotel rock surface
and the

barnfires of L'ag B'Omer

The dominant letter in the word אש Fire
is the ש Shin which itself represents
the Element of Fire according to
Sefer Yetzira
and inspires the videoart below:



Parshat Shemini - שמינ

Forbidden Foods


airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 40" (102 x 102 cm)

The Torah commands us
not to eat and digest
certain animals
because their life force
is bound
with the סטרא אחרא Extraneous Side
which can not be elevated
and causes our soul to be blemished.

The VAV in the Serpent's Belly


mixed materials on canvas
33" x 33"  (84 x 84 cm)

In the phrase in this Parsha

כֹּל הוֹלֵךְ עַל-גָּחוֹן

All creatures that crawl on their belly

Leviticus (11:42)

It is remarkable that the VAV

in the word: גָּחוֹן (belly)

 is written with a larger emphasized font
and is the exact middle letter and axle
around which the entire Torah revolves.
The phrase refers to the Serpent
who obscures our
search for the Light Beyond,
  with its hatched net:
  "The Skin of the Serpent"
משכא דחויא
a kabbalistic metaphor
 for our mundane "reality".
The VAV, called the "letter of truth",
pierces through this skin
transforming the Serpent נחש
into Moshiach-Messiah משיח
sharing the same gematria: 358.

According to Sefer Yetzira
the letter VAV ו permeates
the month of Iyar
which in the Torah is called Ziv זיו
(radiance) cognate to Light.


Video Art - The Letter VAV



Parshat Tazriya - תזריע

Masculine and Feminine Waters


The triangular form or vector
by the kabbalah
the "feminine waters",
the movement
or aspiration from below
to reach a spiritual height,
such as in prayer. 

Turning the painting upside down


  With the triangular form
or vector pointing downward
transforms it to the "masculine waters",
the vector of bringing spiritual energy
into the "vessels" of the mundane world.
אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר

If the conceiving begins
with the "feminine waters"
this stimulates a greater arousal
from above
resulting in the birth of a
male child זכר
something "remembered"
and steadfast.


Parshat Metzora - מצרע


This parsha
and much of the previous one
deals with a special type of
biblical leprosy נגע מצרע
which attacked people
and even their houses and clothing
for participating in לשון הרע
character assasination
and could be only cured
by true repentance.

Parshat Acharei Mot - אחרי מות


acrylics on canvas  26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm) 

The Parsha deals with
the Yom Kippur service of
and all the High Priests
who would follow

to achieve atonement
for all of the congregation.

One remarkable aspect
was the choosing

of the Scape Goat
 הַשָּׂעִיר לַעֲזָאזֵל

(perhaps chosen
for its rebellious nature)

who by its destruction
in a desolate place

would remind us
of the emptiness of sin.

Parshat Kedoshim - קדשים


mixed materials on canvas 24" x 18" (61 x 46 cm)

וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ
You should love your "neighbor"
as (you love) yourself;

"close friend" is
the more correct translation.

Even so, how can this
be performed in reality?

Self-love is often our tendancy
to gloss over

and cover our own faults,
to hate criticism.

So likewise we should
"self-love" our friends

and only see their good qualities.

Parshat Emor - אמור

A Lamp of G-d is a Man's Soul


The Cohen or High Priest
was required

to kindle the 6 lamps
on the Menorah in the Temple
which burned
only from evening to morning

while the western lamp burned
by miracle continuously,
an eternal lamp נר תמיד
so we also must let
the flame of our soul

illuminate the darkness of the Galut,
not only as a potent meditation for
  the First Day of Hanukah,
but for every day of the year.

Parshat BeHar - בהר

The Mystery of Conception and Pregnancy


acrylics on canvas
26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm)

Moses and the people received the Torah
  at the Sinai Mountain בהר סיני
We learn that
הר and "pregnancy" הריון
share a common root in Hebrew,
implying that Torah study
should always impregnate us

with expanded consciousness.

Parshat BeChuko-tai - בחקתי

The Kotel - Transcendental Engravings


acrylics & mixed materials on canvas
19" x 37" (48 x 94 cm)

  If you will follow My Edicts
אִם בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ

many blessings
will be bestowed on us.
חק also implies in Hebrew
לחקוק to engrave

that the Torah laws be engraved
in our mind and hearts
and thus impossible to erase.


Parshat BaMidbar - במדבר

The Twelve Tribes encamped in the desert
the Mishkan in four triad groups
each with its own specific banner דגל
which illustrated the quality of the Tribe.
The arrangement of the triads correspond
to the Four Directions and Seasons
and the Twelve Constellations.


Facing the East (Spring)
was the triad led by Judah:
The Parsha deals with
the Yom Kippur service of
Aaron and all the High Priests
who would follow
to achieve atonement
for all of the congregation.
One remarkable aspect
was the choosing
of the Scape Goat
 הַשָּׂעִיר לַעֲזָאזֵל
(perhaps chosen
for its rebellious nature)
who by its destruction
in a desolate place
would remind us
of the emptiness of sin.


The desert banner of Judah
contained a figure

of a crouching lion
about to spring forth

and achieve victory over the enemies,
internal and external,
which is a primary attribute

of Kingdom,
as well as the Baal Tsuvah,

the Repenter,
both of which
are associated with Judah.

גור אריה יהודה
Judah is a young lion
(Genesis 49:9)


Nissan - Aries - Speech

Facing the North (Winter)
was the triad led by Dan:


The banner of Dan
contained a snake image
hence the suggestion of reptilian scales.
It also had a set of inverted" faces,
hinting that from this tribe
would come
many judges,
who had to show impartiality in judging 

rich and poor
and examine every side of the issue.

So you can see in profile
one set of judges on the left

and if you stand on your head
or turn around the painting
you can perceive another set of judges
דן ידין עמו
Dan shall judge his people

(Genesis 49:16)

יהי דן נחש
Let Dan be a snake

(Genesis 49:17)


Tevet - Capricorn - Anger


Facing the South (Summer)
was the triad led by Reuvan:


The banner of Reuvan corresponds
to the אדם (pronounced Oh-dem)
in the breastplate of the High Priest,
a red stone which most commentators
agree is a ruby,

 and the basis for the painting’s colors.
The name אדם is also
the word, Adam, or man,

and suggests also the dudaim,
the human-like mandrakes,

which Reuvan gave to his mother Leah.
The ruby and the mandrakes
have been credited

with having the power
to aid fertility.

This implies in the spiritual dimension
the ability to make `chidushim’
new creative discoveries -
and is also connected

with the first three letters
of Reuvan’s name ראו,

which means seeing,
even otherworldly vision. 

וילך ראובן...וימצא דודאים בשדה
Reuben went and found mandrakes
in the field

(Genesis 30:14)
Tammuz - Cancer - Sight 

Facing the West (Autumn)
was the triad which included Benjamin:



The banner of Benjamin showed a wolf,
preying on its spoil, emanating ferocity.
In the YouTube videoart section above
two active wolves may be discerned
somewhat hidden behind the reeds,
בנימין זאב יטרף
Benjamin is a fierce wolf
(Genesis 49:27)

Kislev -Sagittarius - Sleep

More information on the Tribes:

Parshat Naso - נשא

Shalom and the Priestly Blessing


יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר ה'  פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ 

יִשָּׂא ה
' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ  וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

The Priestly Blessing concludes with the word Shalom

transmitted to the ears of the congregation
in ever-expanding waves or ripples,
to open our hearts and minds to receive G-d’s Blessing.

airbrush/acrylic on canvas
30” x 40”  (76 x 102 cm)

Parshat BeHa'alotcha - בהעלותך  

Being a Lamp Lighter


Aaron the High Priest was required 
to kindle the lamps on the Menorah in the Temple
until the flame arises by itself השלהבת עולה מאליה.
All of us are asked to be "lamp lighters"
trying to illuminate our dark surroundings
until the flame of faith rises by itself
and burns brightly,
a potent meditation for the
Seventh Day of Hanukah,
as well as every day of the year.

Parshat Shelach - שלח

The Grasshopper Syndrome

נְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים, וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם
We appeared like “grasshoppers” in our eyes
and that is how we appeared in their eyes (Numbers 13:31).

This was the paranoiac description (or political propaganda)
by the Spies about the Giant inhabitants of the Land of Israel,
trying to force the conclusion
that we are demographically “too small”
and without power to conquer it.

Like everything in life, it depends how you read the map.

To be a grasshopper (I actually like better,
James Joyce’s pun: Grace Hoper) has many advantages.
It is able to jump high over obstacles
and when united together as a swarm אחדות,
as in the Plague of the Locusts,
they can destroy all enemies, real and imagined.

Milk and Honey Sunrise over Safed - Tzfat


Caleb and Joshua answered the lies
of the Spies who tried to prevent
the Israelites from entering the Promised Land:
"It is a land that flows with Milk and Honey"
always revealing the special
Kindness חסד and Sweetening המתקה
of Divine Providence.

polymer emulsions on canvas
  27 1/2" x 19 1/2" (70 x 50 cm)

Parshat Korach - קרח

Korach's End


The Earth opened up its "mouth" and swallowed
Korach and his followers who rebelled against Moses
 descending "alive" into Oblivion - Purgatory,
alive but quickly forgotten.
A similar fate awaits those who oppose
the Zaddik of their generation
unless they repent like the children of Korach did.

acrylics on canvas 
17 1/2" x 17 1/2" (45 x 45 cm)

Parshat Chukat - חקת

The Attack of the Fiery Serpents

When the Israelites complained
and were ungrateful for the daily miracles
which G-d bestowed upon them in the desert,
fiery serpents attacked them
and forced them to repent.
For this reason we begin the morning
by saying to G-d: מודה אני לפניך
thanking Him and showing gratitude
that He has restored our soul
to what otherwise would be a dead body.

acrylics & mixed materials on canvas
28" x 36" (71 x 91 cm)

Parshat Balak - בלק

The Witchery of Balak and Bilam


Balak and Bilam,
both descendents of the wicked Lavan,
tried to curse the Israelites
but were forced to bless them with
the highest of blessings
including prophecies about the Messiah:


דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקֹב

"A Star will burst forth from Jacob"

Parshat Pinchas - פינחס


According to the Zohar.
Pinchas “saw” in a prophetic vision
the letters mem מ and tav ת
descending ominously from Above

to threaten the Israelites with מת death
because of their debauchery.
He prevented this with his רמח spear
capturing and neutralizing the mem מ
within the letters raish ר and chet ח
thus creating ruach רח soul.

Given this mystical context,
we can understand
and even exonerate
what would otherwise be
a grisly “directed assassination”
by an uncouth Zealot
and certainly not an action
that would be condoned
by the Rabbis in a Bait Din.

G-d rewards Pinchas by
“upgrading” him
and his descendants
to be Kohanim
and establishing with him 
“a Covenant of Peace”
הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת-בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם

(Numbers 25: 12)


However the word Shalom שלום

is written with a deliberately broken vav ו
(which if it would appear anywhere else
would disqualify the Torah from being used)

perhaps to indicate G-d’s regret
over the loss of life.

mixed materials and moire screens on canvas 
27.5" x 20.6" (70 x 50 cm)

Parshat Matot - מטות

The Narcissist


Moses was commanded
to take vengeance and wage
a total war against the Midianites
for their causing the Israelites
to sin with harlotry and idol worship.
(Numbers 31: 2)

According to chassidic teachings,
the Hebrew word Midian מדין
implies מדון
contention and separation,
and refers to a
narcissistic personality trait
which causes one to be
very intolerant of others,
leading to שנאת חינם implacable hate,
the opposite of אחדות unity.

If you can discern
in the painting the “gestalt”
of someone known and (in)famous,
it is probably a coincidence,
not something contrived or premeditated.

triptych — acrylics on canvas – 26″ x 62″ (66 x 158 cm)

Parshat Masei - מסעי

Refuge City in the Mind


The Torah commands us to create
Refuge Cities ערי מקלט
to which an unintentional murderer
could flee and find protection
from the murdered person's Avenger.
(Numbers 35: 22-33)
In our inner being we often can be
"chased" by an avenger created by our
misdeeds, even the feeling that we
have not fully utilized the talents and
opportunites which G-d has given us.
The City of Refuge of the Mind
(which is also the the month of Elul
and according to some commentators
the holy city of Tzfat - Safed)
gives us a time and space
to repent and return to our source

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 32" (102 x 81 cm)


Parshat Devarim -

Confronting Og and Sichon


Just before the Israelites
could enter the Promised Land,
they encountered
the menacing resistance of the
fearsome Giants - Sichon and Og.
G-d told Moses not to be
afraid of them and push forward.
(Deut 2-3)
We can learn from this that
just before we are about
to achieve a major elevation
in prayer and torah study,
we should anticipate
the resistance of the Giants
our evil inclination
יצר הרע   
and trust in G-d's promise
and push forward.

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

Parshat VaEtchanan - ואתחנן

Achad - the Primordial Light


שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד

“Hear Oh Israel HaShem is Our G-d HaShem is One”
(Deut 6: 4)
אחד Achad or One is the essence of both
the Shma Yisroel prayer – “Hear Oh Israel” —
and the First Day of Creation, Yom Achad, יום אחד
the creation of the Primordial Light
which was afterwards concealed
so that the wicked of future generations
would not be able to enjoy it,
this being the most profound “punishment”
for sinning, the denial of the Light.
In reciting this prayer
it is the custom to cover our eyes
in order to see and reveal within ourselves
this Light and unite with the One.
This revelation also applies
to those (actually all of us)
who are not exactly
a full-time 24/7 Zaddik,
a Righteous One,
since during this existential second
when we recite the prayer,
we become a Zaddik, irregardless
of what we have done in the past
or will do in the future.

airbrush/acrylic on canvas
30” x 40”  (76 x 102 cm)

Parshat Eikev - עקב

The Eye of Providence


acrylics on canvas with reflecting marble
33" x 33" (84 x 84 cm)

תָּמִיד עֵינֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ

מֵרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָה

"The Eyes of HaShem your G-d are continually upon

(the Land of Israel) from the beginning of the year
until the end of the year" (Deut 11: 12)

The Eyes refers to the special Divine Providence upon
the Land always protecting it and enabling us
to experience this in our daily lives.

The Hebrew word above: מֵרֵשִׁית

(from the beginning)

is missing the letter א in the middle

and not the way

the first word of the Torah: בראשית

(in the beginning) is written:

emphasizing the Hebrew word: ראש
Rosh, the Head and of course Rosh HaShana.

Indeed בראשית contains the letters א+ב תשרי

the two days of Rosh HaShana.


The word מֵרֵשִׁית suggests the

Hebrew word רש (extremely poor!)

and the Midrash teaches us

that just before Rosh HaShana

we are poor and deficient until

we hear the blast of the Shofar

and then the letter א jumps out

to change the רש to ראש,

giving us a new Rosh or Head

for the coming year

with the expanded consciousness

to truly experience

the Divine Providence in our lives,

Parshat Re'eh - ראה

Forbidden Foods


לֹא תֹאכַל כָּל תּוֹעֵבָה

"You should not eat anything abominable"
(Deut 14: 3)
We are enjoined not to eat non-kosher food
such as the pig
so that we do not become similar to them
in our personality traits,
according to the adage:
You are what you eat!

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

Voyage into the Matza Interior - Video Art


שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֹּאכַל מַצּוֹת

"Six days you should eat matzas"
(Deut 16: 8)
An extended comparison of the "round"
hand-kneaded matza and the full moon.

Extreme close-ups of the matza texture
turn into a remarkable "lunar"

and even otherworldly landscape
replete with crevices and craggy mountains.

The micro becomes the macro and vice versa.
With a modern music (electronic & flute) track,

which gives it a special ambience.
It even has the sound of the artist
munching noisily on a matza.

Some low definition samples from the video
are available on YouTube below:

1. Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGJYaEvqr7k

2. Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8qtqroA-90    

3. Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTkFUstBLtQ

Press here for more information

Parshat Shoftim  -  שופטים


שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ
Judges and Police should be placed for you at your gates
(Deut 16:18)
The "gates" of a person are the seven orifices in his head
through which pass all sensory phenomenon
which needs to be judged and screened
to prevent negative influences from
entering the body and causing damage to the soul.
airbrushed acrylics on canvas
26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm)


תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ
Be "whole-hearted" with HaShem your G-d
(Deut 18: 13)
Do not probe into the future
and follow astrologers and fortune-tellers.
Rather accept that whatever happens
or will happen is all Divine Providence.

airbrushed acrylics on canvas
36" x 28" (92 x 71 cm)

Parshat Ki Teizei - כי תצא

Going out to battle


   שעת צלותא שעת קרבא
The Zohar teaches us that the time of prayer
is the time for battle.
(Deut 21: 10)
True prayer is a war against our habits and inertia,
being overly satisfied with our past achievements
and a reluctance to exert oneself further.
To win the battle we have to focus our mind
and body to overcome the obstacles.

 acrylics on canvas
33" x 33"  (84 x 84 cm)

Remembering Amalek


Amalek is our implacable enemy
who appears in
every generation to try to destroy us.
(Deut 25: 17-19)
The above painting represents
the surprised face of a terrorist
who has just blown himself up
(and others as well)
and instead of entering
a "paradise" with 72 virgins
finds himself burning in hell.
 Perhaps my most macabre work
and one of my rare political statements
catalyzed by the impossible & grim state
of affairs in Israel & the world today
and the possibility of a new Holocaust.

mixed materials on canvas
26" x 62"  (66 x 158 cm)

Parshat Ki Tavo - כי תבוא

Putting Tefillin upon Har Habayit


וְרָאוּ כָּל עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ
כִּי שֵׁם ה' נִקְרָא עָלֶיךָ וְיָרְאוּ מִמֶּךָּ

"And all the nations of the earth will see
that the Name of HaShem is upon you
and they will fear you":
(Deut 28:10)
This blessing will be realized
because of the merit of putting on tefillin.

The three pronged and four pronged SHINs
on the tefillin box for the head
have many mystical implications.
including the unity of the
Three Patriachs and Four Matriachs
from which are descended the Jewish nation.

The letter SHIN ש
according to Sefer Yetzira
denotes spiritual fire
and the Shechinah
or Divine Presence
which constantly hovers
over the Temple Mount
and Jerusalem.



Parshat Nitzavim - נצבים

The Cosmic Dance of Forgiveness


acrylics on canvas
28" x 37"  (71 x 94 cm)

אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם

"You are standing firmly today
all of you together before HaShem your G-d."
(Deut 29:9)
This is read before Rosh HaShana
when we all should feel united as one nation
as if we are clasping hands
in a cosmic dance מחול
we are then worthy of receiving מחילה
forgiveness for our misdeeds.

This parsha is read after the 98 horrible Curses
(enumerated in the previous Parsha: Ki Tavo)
which will be placed on Israel for
not following the commandments of the Torah
and which were "realized" several times
in our history including the Destruction of the
Temple and the Holocaust.

The Curses were first implied in the
Prophecy of Abraham


mixed materials on canvas

40" x 50" (102 x 127 cm)

The Patriarch Abraham was ordered to pass
through a set of animal carcasses
(Genesis 15: 7-15) to receive the frightening 
prophesy of the Exile, not only to Egypt, 
but to all the Exiles (including the Holocaust) 
that his descendants would suffer.

The Parsha is teaching us
that in spite of all that has happened
we are still standing strong
and firm in our faith
עם ישראל חי

Ultimately when we will be bestowed
with the expanded

of messianic times
we will be able to see that
all of the curses and the bad things
that have happened
are actually blessings in disguise.

Parshat VaYeilach - וילך

The Mask and the Reality

The Mask and the Reality


וְאָנֹכִי הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר פָּנַי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא
"I will doubly conceal My Face that day"
(Deut 31: 18)
When we transgress,
G-d seemingly masks his presence,
such as during the period of Purim and Esther
אסתר = אסתיר
We also put upon ourselves a mask
pretending that there is
no consequence to our misdeeds.
Doing repentance תשובה removes the mask
and we can see face-to-face
that everything is spiritual energy -
the deep secret of the Purim holiday.

Parshat Ha'azinu - האזינו

The Great Eagle in the Sky


כְּנֶשֶׁר יָעִיר קִנּוֹ עַל גּוֹזָלָיו יְרַחֵף

"Like an eagle that arouses its nest
hovering over its young"
(Deut 32:11)
G-d's presence upon us
(as well as that of a teacher or parent)
should be a state of "hovering"
touching and not touching
present and influencing
but not too heavy as to
crush and destroy
the developing personality.

polymer emulsions on canvas
  27 1/2" x 19 1/2" (70 x 50 cm)(

Parshat VeZot HaBracha - וזאת הברכה


 acrylics & mixed materials on canvas
19" x 37" (48 x 94 cm)

מִימִינוֹ אֵשׁ דָּת לָמוֹ

"From His Right Hand
He presented the fiery Torah to them"
(Deut 33:3)
The Torah was received amidst
a display of fire and lightening
representing Gevurah or Severity.
But it comes from the Right Hand
the ultimate Source of Chesed or Kindness.
The great Maggid of Mezeritz.
Rebbe Dov Ber, my direct ancester
and after whom I am named, explains
that when we feel "attacked"
by "gevurah" thoughts and anxieties,
such as the fear of dying,
we should understand that
this is really God's great Kindness to us,
since they can induce the process of
repentance and tsuvah.

The bulk of the Parsha deals with
the Blessings which Moses bestowed
upon the Tribes. Many of which
are similar to the Patriarch Jacob's Blessings
which largely inspired my composition
on the Names of the Twelve Tribes
inscribed on the gemstones in the Kho-shen חשן
(Breastplate of the High  Priest)


airbrush/acrylic on canvas on 12 mounted canvases: 
62" x 48" (158 x 122 cm) 

However certain Tribes have a very different Blessing,
such as Benjamin, who was described by Jacob
as a Wolf, preying on its spoil, emanating ferocity
(Genesis 49:27)  בנימין זאב יטרף

wheras Moses now relates to the Tribe's future location
(actually a small protrusion into the boundry of Judah)
upon which the Holy Temple
in Jerusalem would stand.


mixed materials on canvas  30" x 40" (76 x 102 cm)

לְבִנְיָמִן אָמַר יְדִיד י-ה-ו-ה יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח עָלָיו
 חֹפֵף עָלָיו כָּל הַיּוֹם וּבֵין כְּתֵפָיו שָׁכֵן

About Benjamin he said: May God's beloved
dwell securely with Him (in the Bait HaMikdash).
May the Divine Presence cover (and protect) him
forever and dwell among the high places



The Parsha and the Torah concludes with the phrase:

וּלְכֹל הַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וּלְכֹל הַמּוֹרָא הַגָּדוֹל
אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה לְעֵינֵי כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵל

And in all the mighty hand,
and in all the fearsome acts,
which Moses displayed in the sight of all Israel

Some commentators, including the Ramban,
interpret the last line differently
and actually closer to the literal meaning,
namely that Moses עשה re-made
the eyes (especially the inner eye)
of Israel so that they could then "see"
the spiritual dimension,
not just read or talk about it.

And this is my modest hope and intention
(and artist's manifesto)
to "envision" the Torah teachings
and prepare us for the messianic period
when we will all see the Glory of God:

ונגלה כבוד ה' וראו כל בשר יחדיו 


See also Sefer Yetzira

and Jewish Holidays

Many of the paintings may be available as prints and giclees, please inquire:
orirbrush/acrylic on canvas on 12 mounted canvases:

For originals and/or shipping within Israel please contact me

You or anyone you know who may be visiting Northern Israel
are invited to our studio/gallery at Alkabetz 11 (near Kossov synagogue)
  The Old City,Tzfat (Safed) Israel.

Israel mobile: 052-662-7620

USA telephone: 1-720-477-6433
Canada telephone: 1-438-792-0806

Mailing address:
POB 25, Tzfat (Safed) Israel 1310001

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