Hebrew Blessings

Small in physical size, yet brimming over with meaning, Hebrew Blessings are recited for ordinary and extraordinary experiences: eating bread, seeing a rainbow, listening to a shofar's blast. They deny the super- importance of the self by thanking God for every little and big thing; they are the Jewish way of seeing the glass as "half full", while giving credit to the Creator.

Blessings begin with the phrase, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe..."
Blessings to be said before performing mitzvot continue with, "You make us holy with your commandments and command us to..."
The statement ends with a phrase that connects it to a particular experience. It is this final phrase which is calligraphed in Hebrew next to each illustration.

My goal is to evoke the essence of each blessing by creating a pertinent illustration. For example, a broken leaf was chosen as a metaphor for bad news. The meaning behind the metaphor is derived from the black ribbon that is torn upon hearing of the death of a loved one. As one tears the ribbon, the blessing "...The True Judge" is recited.

My original drawings are ink on paper. From these, limited edition prints are generated on a color laser printer. For each print, I have chosen one of three papers, either tan parchment, plain ivory, or recycled "milkwood", depending on the nature of the artwork. Editions are limited to either eighteen prints (early editions), or one hundred and eighty prints (subsequent editions).

Prints are available, with conservation quality mats and backings, and wrapped in a clear film for protection. Most images are 12"x16", matted, but some images are 14"x18", matted. Custom framing is available.

Hebrew Blessings in Print
Seven illustrations from the Hebrew Blessings series embellish the book, These are the Words, by Arthur Green, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1999

"Pomegranate", from the Hebrew Blessings series, graces the cover of Nina Beth Cardin's book, Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1999

For more information, contact Jewish Lights Publishing.

All Images and Web Site Content Copyright © 2001 Joel Moskowitz
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