Sefer Yetzira - ספר יצירה


Sefer Yetzira, ascribed to the Patriarch Abraham,
is a basic treatise for Jewish Mystical Meditation.
Several of its chapters
deal with the unique qualities
of each of the 12 Jewish months
and their association with a specific
Tribe, Attribute, Hebrew Letter

Controling Limb of the Body and Zodiac Sign.

Many of the images in this collection
have been 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 the sections
of Sefer Yetzira below as well as all of the
53 Parshas of the Torah
and the Jewish Holidays
to act as a springboard to meditation
and finding relevance and advice
regarding our individual life adventure.


 
Adar-
אֲדָר‎  @ Sefer Yetzira

adar

The Tribe associated with Adar is
Naftali -
נַפְתָּלִי
whose name was incised in the
 Breastplate of the High Priest
on the שבו Shevoh
which may be a turquoise stone.
The banner of Naftali in the desert
showed an antlered deer,
according to Jacob’s blessing,
suggesting dispatch and avidity
 in performing the commandments.

נַפְתָּלִי אַיָּלָה שְׁלֻחָה הַנֹּתֵן אִמְרֵי שָׁפֶר
 
Naftali is a deer sent (on a mission)
expressing words of eloquence.

(Genesis 49: 21)

Naftali's "mission" is hinted
according to the Zohar by the
inclusion
in his name -
the word
nofet נֹפֶת
meaning sweetness.
  Naftali comes to "sweeten"
the cold and grim winter reality
with joy and laughter,
which of course connects with Purim
and
the month's חוש or Attribute.



The Hebrew letter which permeates
ADAR is the KUF קוף

which means monkey
or holy "monkeying around"
  such as inducing laughter during
the Purim festivities.
Also the form of the KUF,
composed of a RAISH ר
and an elongated ZION ז

is rather unstable, even "tipsy"
connecting to the requirement
to get spiritually drunk on Purim

חייב איניש לבסומי עד דלא ידע

One must drink to the state of
"beyond knowing"

as suggested in the video art below:

video

https://youtu.be/U5XLAwkotzw

What should happen in this condition is that
the elongated KUF which symbolizes
the descent into the klippot,
the Sitra Achra or
extraneous forces
gets circumcised and turns into a
Holy Hai ה
which is the Hebrew letter that
permeates the following month of NISSAN


hai

https://youtu.be/-u96PDadMHg



The Zodiac sign or מזל of ADAR
is Pisces (Fishes) or דגים
 
pisces

acrylics on canvas  40" x 42"  (102 x 107 cm)


Fishes can only live in the sea
or other aggregates of water
called the Hidden World
since its denizens are
usually unseen.
Water in general refers to the Torah
מים חיים
from which we all can drink
but only the Big Fish
who study the secrets
of the kabbalah
can plunge to the depths.





Shevat -
שְׁבָט  @ Sefer Yetzira

asher

The Tribe associated with Shevat is
Asher
אַשֵׁר

The name: Asher was incised

on the תרשיש Tarshish,

which may have been an amber

the color of olive oil,

appropriate for a tribe

 known for its olive oil production.

The banner of Asher in the desert

actually showed an olive tree,

as in the painting above.

  וְטֹבֵל בַּשֶּׁמֶן רַגְלוֹ

He shall dip his foot in olive oil
(Deut 33:24)

Using this rich oil the tribe
was renown for its culinary treats
וְהוּא יִתֵּן מַעֲדַנֵּי מֶלֶךְ

"and he shall provide
the delicacies of the king”

(Genesis 49:20).

This skill connects
with the month's Attribute:
the sense of taste and eating.
in its rectified state.

כִּי לֹא עַל הַלֶּחֶם לְבַדּוֹ יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם
כִּי עַל כָּל מוֹצָא פִי
י-ה-ו-ה

Not on the (physical dimension of)

bread alone does a man live,
but through each utterance
of the mouth of God
(the life-force within the food)

(Deut 8:3)

The highest level is the joy
(Asher אַשֵׁר means
joy and happiness )

of eating from the Tree of Life
in the Garden of Eden.
ingesting the deepest secrets
of the Torah which is
the constant state of the Zaddik
the Righteous One
and which us lesser mortals
can perhaps partially sense
from the spiritual ambience of
our Sabbath/Holiday meals,
especially when we eat from
the fruits of the Land of Israel.

tree

mixed materials on canvas
37" x 37" (94 x 94 cm)


The fruits connect us to the grand
Holiday of Tu (the 15th) b'Shevat
the New Year of the Trees
and because it is their nature
to always grow higher and higher
they are likened to the Zaddik.

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)


And this month has a special efficacy
to try to emulate and attach ourserlves
to a Zaddik and connects
with the Hebrew Letter
צ that permeates
Shevat (which also means "staff")
and even has the form of a Tree
as shown in video art below.

zaddik

https://youtu.be/y5ujmCFqOIw

The letter Tzadi(k) צ, the 18th (Chai) letter
of the alphabet also symbolizes the Zaddik.
It is composed of two letters:
the letter YUD י "injecting" itself
into the back of the bent-over "fallen" NUN נ
(the letter symbolizing
the Churban - the Destruction)

to revive and revitalize our lives.

In Chabad teachings
this has special significance
on YUD (the 10th) Shevat,
the yahrzeit of the Previous Rebbe,
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson OBM
who was the YUD - the Yid
that revived the fallen Jewry
from the Holocaust and prepared us
for the coming of the Moshiach.

Returning to the Month of the Trees
we can make a connection to the
Zodiac sign or מזל of the month:
Aquarius (the Water Carrier) or the
Hebrew
דְּלִי Bucket (of Water).
This is the time that the rain waters
of the winter months
begin to ascend in the veins
of the tree and bring it new life.

bucket

polymer emulsions on reflecting surface  36 x 30 cm


The ascent of the water is represented
by the Bucket דְּלִי
which in Hebrew derives
from the root meaning “to lift up,”
דַּלּוּ עֵינַי לַמָּרוֹם
 “My eyes are lifted up to heaven”
(Isaiah 38:14).


This is the power of the Zaddik:
to bring abundance and bliss
from the waters of the upper worlds
into the veins of our life.
Aquarius is the sign of Israel,
the redemption and the arrival
of Moshiach.






Tevet - טֵבֵת @ Sefer Yetzira

dan

The Tribe associated with Tevet is Dan דן

The name: Dan דן in the חשן - Kho-shen
the Breastplate of the High Priest
was incised
on the Leshem לשם stone,
which some commentators believe
was an orange topaz.

The stone (and the painting) have
"inverted" faces, hinting that from this tribe
would come
many judges,
who had to show impartiality in judging

the rich and the poor
and examine every side of the issue.

 דָּן יָדִין עַמּוֹ
 
Dan shall judge his people 
(Genesis 49:16)

So you can see one set of judges on the left

and if you stand on your head
or look at the revolving image below

you can perceive another set on the new left.

dan

The banner of Dan in the desert
also contained a snake image,

hence the suggestion of reptilian scales.

יְהִי דָן נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי דֶרֶךְ

 
Let Dan be a snake on the path

(Genesis 49:17)


Dan's innate tendency
to judge others
critically
even with overly severe judgment
(the “evil eye”)
is likened to a snake,
who bites with the venom of anger.
The “evil eye” is the eye of the snake.

The Attribute for this month is Anger
and the rectification of Dan
(and all of us) comes through
arousing a holy anger
and righteous indignation

against the evil inclination in ourselves.

At the same time
we should promote our "good eye"
seeing others only with benevolence
which is hinted by the name of the month
Tevet
טֵבֵת whose root
comes from
טוב Good.


Connected to this process is the
Hebrew letter that permeates Tevet
namely the Ayin עין ע
which when spelled out means Eye,
as shown in video art below:

ayin

https://youtu.be/Gbmm9mIx_BM

The "good" Eye or letter Ayin in the video
is in constant movement to achieve symmetry
and balance חן and battles the "evil" Eye who
transforms into angry cat eyes
and chaotic breakup.

According to Kabbalah teachings the source
of Anger and the evil eye comes from
the Liver which is the Organ or body part
associated with Tevet and its control
replicates the primordial struggle
between Eisav (Esau) the Liver
and Yakov (Jacob) the Heart
within Parshat Toldot

liver

The Liver versus the Heart




Capricorn or גְּדִי (a young goat)
is the Zodiac sign or מזל of the month

gadi

The Rabbis associate this animal
with a young ten year old boy
(linking to Tevet - the tenth month)
who is always jumping up and down.
The gematria of טוב = 17 = גְּדִי (good).
One must happily play
(and jump up and down like a goat)
in order to rectify and sweeten
the anger latent in one's animal soul.

This may explain why the last two-three days
of Chanukah and especially the
messianic Eighth Night זאת חנוכה

The Eighth Light (Malchut מלכות) :

8-hanuka

https://youtu.be/fddvOWqNZe4


initiate the month of Tevet:
days of darkness
and the bitter cold of winter,
the beginning of the destruction
of the Temple on the tenth of Tevet,

the passing away of great rabbis, such as
the Alter Rebbe, Rebbe Shneur Zalman.

These Lights give us the power
to "play" through
this difficult period and the hope
for the eminent coming of the
Spring and the Geula - Redemption.







Kislev -  כִּסְלֵו @ Sefer Yetzira

לןדךקה

The Tribe associated with Kislev is Benjamin  

The name: Benjamin בנימין in the חשן - Kho-shen
the Breastplate of the High Priest was incised
on the ישפה Yashpeh, or jasper,
which was rainbow colored.
The banner of Benjamin in the desert travels
showed a wolf,
preying on its spoil, emanating ferocity,
according to the Blessing of Jacob to the Tribes
in
Parshat Vayechi:

"Benjamin is a fierce wolf"  בנימין זאב יטרף
(Genesis 49:27)

In addition the Tribe was known to be
skilled in archery, which relates to
Zodiac sign or מזל of the month:
 Sagittarius or 
Keshet קשת
(the archer’s bow and also a rainbow)
which will be discussed below.

Whereas Moshe`s blessing to the Tribe
in
Parshat VeZot HaBracha
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
and of course connects
with the miracle of the Lights of Chanuka
and the service of the Temple, which
is celebrated this month.

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"

In the painting above the "gestalts"
of all the ideas may be discerned,
as well as in the video art version below.

ben

https://youtu.be/dpUDCL_8_9I


 
The Hebrew letter that permeates Kislev כִּסְלֵו
is the ס Samech and even the month in Hebrew
can be read "completely Samech" כולו 
ס

The name of the letter Samech implies “support” - סוֹמֵךְ
 having trust and confidence in Divine providence,
hence it is shaped like a circle
representing God’s Infinite light
as suggested in the video art below:

samach

https://youtu.be/cGYwGRhAcKw

In this video there is the unexpected phenomenon
(which I found so disturbing I thought to erase it)
of the short appearance of swastikas
rapidly swallowed up by the Samech circle
and relates to the fallen letter Nun of Mar-Heshvan,
which symbolizes
the Destruction and the Galut,
so much so that
in the prayer acrostic of Ashrei (Psalms 155)
said three times each day
  the phrase beginning with Nun is omitted.
Instead the letter is subsumed
into the following phrase:
סוֹמֵךְ י-ה-ו-ה לְכָל הַנֹּפְלִים
"God supports all the fallen"
Reflecting on this,
we can sense the power of the Samech
that even during the Holocaust,
God's "support" was present
and the destruction was not totally irreversible
which seen in retrospect is
the greatest miracle of all:
נ+ס Nun + Samech = Ness נס

The Ness experience can be found in
why we celebrate
the holiday of Chanukah
which is the subject of my series of video art:
 
A Lamp of God is a Man's Soul

light 1light 7light 8



We should also include the Holiday of Yod Tet Kislev
the miraculous release of the first Rebbe of Chabad
Harav Schneur Zalman from jail and a death sentence,
a watershed event for the promulgation of chassidus.



Dreaming the Archer's Bow and the Rainbow

keshet

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

As mentioned above
the Zodiac sign or מזל of the month:
 Sagittarius or 
Keshet קשת
(the archer’s bow and also a rainbow in Hebrew)

both semi-circles but if combined together
(at least graphically) we get again our infinite circle,
symbolizing the Encompassing Light אור מקיף.

The bow and the more ethereal rainbow
can be considered the complements
of sleeping and dreaming
the Attribute for this month.
(There are 10 Dreams
described in Pentateuch,
  nine of them occur in the Parshas
read during the month Kislev!)
Falling asleep is like shooting an arrow
and releasing the tension on the string.
And if we are worthy, our dreams
will be on target and with rainbow colors,
even the Ultimate Dream of the Redemption:
בְּשׁוּב י-ה-ו-ה אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים

When God will restore us to Zion
we will be like Dreamers.
(Psalms 126:1)




Mar-Chesvan - מר-חשון @ Sefer Yetzira

menashe

The Tribe associated with Mar-Chesvan is Menasheh  
Joseph named his first son Menasheh - מנשה
 כִּי נַשַּׁנִי אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל עֲמָלִי וְאֵת כָּל-בֵּית אָבִי
'For G-d has made me forget נַשַּׁנִי
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 Mashiach.

This connects with
the Hebrew letter
that permeates Mar-Chesvan: NUN נ

as shown in video art section below:

nun

https://youtu.be/jb9WMQUwttM

The letter NUN is considered to be messianic,
as it is written in Psalms 72:17
לִפְנֵי שֶׁמֶשׁ יִנּוֹן שְׁמוֹ
 Before the sun, his name is Ye-nun
The word NUN as a verb means "to reign"
and as a noun: "heir  to the throne"  נין
all connected to King Mashiach.

Now the NUN is bent down,
suffering the weight
of the Destruction and the Galut
but in the messianic revelation
it will be straightened like a Final NUN ן
and able to descend to
and transform the lowest realities.

This transformative power is also hinted by
the
Zodiac Sign or Mazal for the month:
Scorpio (The Scorpion - עקרב)


scopio

The scorpion has a deadly bite with what is
described as a "cold poison" and is connected
to the Premordial Snake נחש in Eden.
נחש = 248  = משיח
The Mashiach משיח will be able to transform
the negative energies of the Snake
and even the Scorpion
and his "bite" of cold poison and
will make us cold to vanities of the world.

Cheshvan has before it
the word Mar מר meaning bitter
due to its being the only month without
a Jewish holiday and is also connected
to the Flood of Noah which started
on the 17th of Cheshvan.

Therefore this month is "reserved"
for the building of the Holy Temple,
which will be the greatest holiday of all.






Tishrei - תשרי @ Sefer Yetzira

efrayim

The Tribe associated with Tishrei is Efraiyim  
Joseph named his second son 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.
This is also connected to the special Attribute of this month:
The sense of Touching - משמוש which is cognate in Hebrew
to the word
שימוש "marital relations".
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.

The month of Tishrei begins the period (תקופה)
of the Autumn, which comprises
the three months of Tishrei, Cheshvan, and Kislev.
corresponding to the tribes of
Efraiyim, Menasheh, Benjamin,
who in the desert encampment
around the Tabernacle
were situated to the west.

The banner of Efraiyim contained an image of a bull,
again a symbol of fertility and strength.
The bull was also the sign of Joshua bin Nun,
the direct descendent of Efraiyim.
who conquered the Land of Israel.
However, the Tribe has also a negative history
since it participated in the secession from
the Kingdom of Judah and was
ultimately exiled by the Assyrians.


Thus Efraiyim is often regarded by the Prophets
as the rebellious and wayward child
who in spite of his misdeeds is
is still deeply loved by his father
  who waits for him to change his ways,
as implied in the Rosh HaShanah liturgy:
הבן יקיר לי אפרים
which we should internalize
within our prayers during the High Holidays
(as we all have an aspect of Efraiyim).

The Hebrew letter
that permeates Tishrei
is the Lamed ל, the only letter
whose shape bursts above
the upper boundary of the other letters.
As such it is referred to by the Sages as a
tower soaring in the air"
מִגְדָּל פּוֹרֵחַ בָּאֲוִיר
similar to a rocket escaping earth's gravity.

This symbolizes our yearning and aspiration
to escape the gravity of our body
and fixed mental habits
"to think out of the box"
and return to our Source
the essence of God's Infinite Being.
This is the experience
of true teshuvah
 תשוב-ה ("returning the fallen Hai ה to God")

lamed

https://youtu.be/-GkE5uLDrec

The desire to fly high and soar in meditation
has its psychological dangers
unless one can return and be "grounded"
by learning Torah and performing mitzvot,
making a "Bayit" or home for God to dwell in.
This is hinted by observing that the Lamed ל
is last letter of the Torah in the word: ישראל
This connects (on Simchat Torah) when
read again the first chapter of the Beginning
of the Torah: בראשית
whose first letter is the Bayit ב
ישראל + בראשית
Together they form the word: לב Heart.
A healthy heart has the balance between
the "run and return", the pulse of life.

scales

The need for balance is also hinted by the
Zodiac Sign or Mazal for the month:
Libra (The Scales) המאוזניים
which suggest that
 all of the deeds of man
are now being weighed in judgment.
  Also the word:
מאוזניים is cognate
with the Hebrew word for "ears" אוזניים
especially the "inner ear", the source
for equilibrium and balance.



 
Elul - אלול @ Sefer Yetzira

gad

The Tribe for Elul is GAD גד
In the Kho-shen חשן
(the Breastplate of the High Priest)
its name was incised in a precious stone
called the אחלמה Achlama,
which some commentators define
as a purple tinted amethyst
in the form of a calf's eye
which was believed
to prevent cowardliness in battle,
an important prerequisite for the tribe
which guarded the frontier.
Also the banner of Gad showed
a formation of soldiers and army camp.
גד גדוד יגודנו

Gad is an army camp (Genesis 49:19)

The name Achlama also suggests
the Hebrew word: החלמה
Healing and Recovery


Both of these qualities, preparing for
a spiritual battle and the ability to heal
relate to the special Attribute of Elul:
Action - Taking the Initiative
and doing real Repentance -Tsuva
before the High Holidays,
according to the well-known acronym
based on Elul's name in Hebrew: אלול
אני לדודי ודודי לי

the initial letters of the phrase
in the Song of Songs (6:3):
 “I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me.”
“I am to my beloved” in repentance
and consummate desire
to return to my soul-root in God.
“And my beloved is to me”
with Divine expression of mercy of forgiveness.


Each of the last letters of the phrase is a Yod.
numerical value of 10 and together (4 x 10)
represent the 40 days Moishe was in the Heavens
asking for the God's forgiveness.

Appropriately the letter Yod is the letter
that permeates the entire month of Elul.

yod

https://youtu.be/3P2myv-c6Wg

The Yod is the first letter of th
e Tetragrammaton,
G-d’s essential Name Havayah, the Name of Mercy.
All created form begins with this essential “point,”
of energy and life-force, the point of the letter Yod.
  Likewise all of the scribal letters in the Torah
are first written beginning with a Yod.

The word yod means “hand.”
The yod of Elul is, in particular, the Left Hand,
the controller of the month’s Attribute,
the sense of action and rectification.

Yod relates to the Eternal Yid יהודי,
the essence of the Jewish soul,
which always yearns to connect to HaShem.

The Zodiac sign for Elul is Virgo

(Betulah, the Virgin)

virgo

The betulah symbolizes God’s beloved bride, Israel,
the bride of the Song of Songs who says to her Groom
“I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me.

Press here for more information





Menachem-Av @ Sefer Yetzira


The Tribe (and gemstone) for Menachem-Av is Shimon

shimon

Shimon שמעון was incised on the פטדה Pitdah,
which some commentators translate as an emerald,
hence the scintillating green colors in the painting.
Other sources of inspiration include:
1) the desert banner of Shimon,
which showed the city of Shechem שכם
ensconced between the mountains.
  2) the suggestion of an ear shape
or sound wave ripples
which hints at the meaning of the Hebrew word
Shimon – שמעון “diminutive” hearing,
the inner hearing of the still voice of the soul.
כי שמע ה’ כי שנואה אנכי
 
G-d has heard that I was unloved (Genesis 29:33)

Hearing and its rectification
is the special attribute or quality of Av
and relates remarkably with the ear-like shape
of the Hebrew Letter ט Tet
which permeates this month.

trt

https://youtu.be/PomaL8mMqas

Tet is the Ninth Letter of the Hebrew alphabet
and obviously connects with the “holiday”
of Tisha b’Av – the Ninth Day of Av,
which commemorates the Destruction of the Temples
and other tragic events in Jewish history.
But if we listen to our Shimon שמעון, our “inner hearing”,
we can be comforted מנחם
in the promise of the Prophets and
the month becomes: מנחם-אב Menachem Av.

lion

The change from what would seem
to be a tremendous downfall
to a messianic vision of the future
is also hinted by the Zodiac Sign
for the month of Menachem Av
namely Leo the Lion
and according to the forced prophecy
of the wicked Bilaam:
הֶן-עָם כְּלָבִיא יָקוּם
Look! A people that rises itself up
(from a crouching position) like a Lion.
(Numbers 23:24)

Without the “inner hearing” of our faith,
we can fall into the despair
that what seems to be our “crouching position”
in the Galut is The Reality,
when in fact it is a springboard to a New Era.






Tammuz תמוז @ Sefer Yetzira

The Tribe (and gemstone) for Tammuz is Reuvan.

רקוהשמ

The precious stone for Reuvan ראובן
in the Breastplate of the High Priest
is called the אדם (pronounced Oh-dem)
a red stone which most commentators agree
is a ruby, and the basis for the above 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 –
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)

Sight – and its rectification
is the special Attribute or sense of Tammuz
and relates remarkably with the two aspects
of the Hebrew Letter ח Chet
which permeates this month.
The Letter is pronounced
“chet” implying Sin חטא,
but it is written out חית,
which can be read “chayut”
positive energy or life-force.

chet

https://youtu.be/1airPLs5YLo

The Letter CHET represents the marriage aמd union
of the different Masculine and Feminine Energies,
represented by the letter VAV ו on the right
and the letter Zion ז on the left.
They are connected by a “bridge”, ma’avarta,
which in a holy marriage,
is symbolized by the chupa חופה,
the encompassing spiritual light.

The ability to connect and integrate energies
implied in the letter Chet
contrasts with the secular representation
of the Zodiac Sign for the month:
Cancer (The Crab or Crayfish)
where each force spins in its own egoistic orbit.

cancer



Sivan - סיון @ Sefer Yetzira

The Tribe (and gemstone) for Sivan is Zebulun


zeb

ZEBULUN זבולן was incised
on the יהלם Yahalom,

which commentators believe
was not a diamond,

as its modern Hebrew translation,
but rather a pearl, which is, of course,
only found in the depths of the sea
and thus appropriate for this sea-faring tribe,
hinted by the pearly and ocean wave
texture of the painting.
זבולן לחוף ימים ישכן
Zebulun shall settle the coast (Genesis 49:13)


The tribe of Zebulun (the merchants)
shared a special bond
with the tribe of Isaachar (the scholars),
in that they agreed to split their
material and spiritual wealth equally.
Actually the level of Zebulun is higher,
reaching כתר The Crown,
because without this tribe's support,
the Torah could not be sustained.

This is hinted  by the form of the Letter
that permeates this month: Zayin ז
a Vav with a Crown with another three small
crown-like extensions (Tagim) on top,
often referred to as the Golden Scepter
שרבית הזהב of the King

zayin
https://youtu.be/pY_Uway4OGg

The Vav runs or channels from Heaven to Earth
representing Ohr Yashar (Direct or Straight Light)
the Masculine Waters or vector
 while the Zayin represents
Ohr Chozer (Returning Light)
the Feminine Waters or vector.
(See also link to Turnarounds)

The Attribute or Sense for this month
is Walking  הליכה
referring not only to physical walking
but to the spiritual sense
of seeking progress and development.
An individual who possesses
a sense of walking
has a particular keenness
in moving forward
and always striving for more.
This is certainly the quality
of the "successful" Zebulun merchant,
who is really on a "hidden mission"
to collect in his travels
the fallen sparks that fell into the world
from Shevirat HaKalim
The Breaking of the Vessels.

It also has the cognate
connection to the הלכה Halacha
and the rectification of the world.

Connected to the above is the
Controlling Limb for Sivan:
The Left Foot
The Left Side (Gevurah) is more attuned
to the mundane reality as
opposed to the Right (Chesed) which
is more related to the spiritual.
Thus we always begin to walk or march
in our life journey with the left foot
to be followed by the mediating right
to maintain our balance and direction.
 

The Zodiac sign for Sivan is Gemini - The Twins

gemini

The Twins first and foremost alludes
to the two identical Tablets of the Covenant
given to Moses at Mt. Sinai.

When a bride and groom attain

the highest degree of connection,

they are described as twins.

The day on which God gave

the Torah to the Jewish people

was a Wedding between the two.

In the Song of Songs God

refers to His bride,

the Jewish people, as perfect (תמתי).

The sages read this word as “twin” (תאומתי).


twins

The archetypal twins in the Torah

are Jacob and Esau.

Far from being identical,

they represent spiritual opposites.

In the heart of every Jew,

Jacob represents the good inclination

while Esau represents the evil inclination.

Nonetheless, through the power

of the Torah,

given on the month of Sivan,

even the relationship between

these diametrically opposed twins

can be rectified and the two can unite.


 

Iyar - אייר @ Sefer Yetzira


The Tribe (and gemstone) for Iyar is Issachar




ISSACHAR יששכר was incised
on the ספיר Sapir,

which commentators believe
may be a sapphire
of a deep blue tint,
the color of the pure sky,

since this tribe was known
for the excellence

of its Torah and astronomical studies
and composed the majority
of the Sanhedren.
In the midst of this gem,
one was able to see
a form of a dark cloud,

suggesting the receiving
of the Torah at Sinai.

The desert banner of Issachar
contained
a drawing of a donkey,
which hints at the tribe’s ability
to carry the heavy load of Torah.
יששכר חמר גרם

Issachar is a strong-boned donkey
(Genesis 49:14)



The letter Vav ו permeates this month
which in the Torah is called Ziv זיו
(radiance) cognate to Light.



vav


https://youtu.be/ew3sFfsLE_U

The Letter VAV represents connection and influx
and is the exact MIDDLE LETTER of the Torah
and can be understood as the AXLE around which
all the other letters of the entire Torah revolve.
Iyar links together the two months of Nissan and Sivan.

This linking also connects to the Attribute of Iyar:
 
Thought especially contemplation and introspection.
It also signifies the power of calculation,
Iyar being the month completely dedicated
to the counting of “sefirat haomer“.
The root “to think” in Hebrew chashav חשב
means numerical calculation, cheshbon חשבון

This is also related to the Controling Limb
of the month:
the Right kidney.
Our sages say “the kidneys give advice.”
In particular, the right kidney
relates to spiritual advice or introspection.
 necessary for “chesbon nefesh”.


The Zodaic sign for Iyar is Taurus - The Bull - שור
bull

The Bull (the left face of the Divine Chariot)
represents the spiritual origin
of the “animal soul” of man.
The month of Iyar is the month
that man rectifies his animal soul,
refines his innate character traits
via each day of “sefirat haomer“
as he prepares to receive the Torah in Sivan.





Nissan - ניסן @ Sefer Yetzira

The Tribe (and gemstone) for Nissan is Judah

judah

JUDAH יהודה was inscribed on the Nofech נפך
which some
commentators believe
was a bluish-green carbuncle.

The gem is said to have an efficacy in
achieving victory over one's 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.

The desert banner of Judah
contained a picture
of a crouching lion
and a gestalt of its profile

may be discerned in the painting.

גור אריה יהודה

Judah is a young lion (Genesis 49:9)



The letter HAI ה permeates this month.

hai

https://youtu.be/-u96PDadMHg

The form of the Letter Hai
has two perpendicular lines
representing Thought and Speech
and a detached YOD (Hand)
representing Action.
It being upside down
suggests pregnancy and birth.


The letter HAI is the phonetic source
for all 22 letters of the alef-beit.
The sages teach us that
“with the letter HAI God created this world.”
from the phrase in Genesis (2:4):

אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ בְּהִבָּרְאָם

These are the generations of the Heaven
and of the Earth when they were created
The last word can be read:
ב"ה" בָּרְאָם
They were created with the Letter HAI


Thus, the month of Nisan signifies
the annual renewal of the creation of this world.


The Attribute or Sense for Nissan is Speech

the ability to express to another
one’s deepest feelings and insights.

This is the secret of Pesach and the Hagada
celebrating the freedom of speech
with the redemption from Egypt
which is the existential state of confinement
and the inability to truly express oneself.

These ideas are further elaborated
in my videoart in YouTube:
Voyage into the Matza Interior


video

Video%2520Art.html#matza

The Controling Limb of the month is the Right Foot
the direction of Chesed and beginning of the
performance of the Mitzvot.

The Zodaic sign for Nissan is
Aries - The Ram - טלה

רשצ

The ram or lamb symbolizes the Pesach sacrifice,

the first sacrifice of the Jewish people
to God just before their redemption.
 Of all of God’s creations, the ram possesses
the innate ability to arouse mercy by its voice

 
and the sound of the Shofar.


Link to
53 Parshas of the Torah

Link to
Jewish and Chassidic Holidays


Many of the paintings may be available
as prints and giclees, please inquire:

http://dov-lederberg.artistwebsites.com/
or
https://www.facebook.com/ArtDovLederberg/app_309028460694

For originals and/or shipping within Israel please contact me
dovlederberg@gmail.com

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
(972-52-662-7620)

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

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

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