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Esh: Fire in Judaism 2015

Each print 9.5” x 13.5”

Edition of three books

Fire (eshin Hebrew) holds a place of importance in all religions. The universality of sacred light is enthralling and inspiring. In Judaism, fire was the element in which God was revealed to the Israelites. Furthermore, in the Great Temple, fire was used for glorification of God’s power, celebration and expiation of sins. In this book, I explore elements of fire in Judaism from cosmic, planetary references to intimate personal ceremonies which we have and still celebrate today. 

 

Fire appears in Torah 380 times, often as a fear-inducing element. Yet, fire has a duality which is intensely compelling. It can be both unruly and uncontrolled and thus destructive or domesticated, as well as enclosed, giving light and heat and thus creative. 

 

I have chosen eighteen passages from various Judaic sources including Torah, Midrash and Gemarrah. In Judaic numerology, eighteen stands for chai or life. My intent is to symbolize the relevance of fire in our modern world as a tie that still binds us to our ancient yet thriving tradition. This book was created with the guidance of Sylvia Alotta.

Individual prints can be seen here