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Chad Gadya
One Only Kid 2017

Each print 13.5” x 9.5”, two editions

Book size 8" x 12", opens to 12” x 22”

  

Chad Gadya is the last song in the Passover Seder. It is cumulative but is darker in meaning.  The language is a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic while the tune has its origins in medieval German folk music. This two-of-a-kind book has eleven free standing prints and eleven accompanying text pages. 

 

The destruction wrought in the song has been interpreted as referring to the different nations that have conquered the Land of Israel: The goat symbolizes the Jewish people, the cat, Assyria; the dog, Babylon; the staff, Persia; the fire, Macedonia; the water, Roman Empire; the ox, the Saracens; the butcher, the Crusaders; the Angel of Death, the Turks. At the end, God returns to send the Jews back to Israel. The recurring refrain of ‘two zuzim’ is a reference to the two stone tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai. This interpretation was first widely published in 1731 in Leipzig.

 

I have chosen to set the scene in the Judean hills. In each print the background has a foreshadowing of the action to come. For example, in the second print the money is paid in the foreground while the goat is seen in
the distance.

Individual prints can be seen here