You Will Receive Rain In Its Proper Time; The Holtzbergs by Marcy Nehorai

This painting was made with the verse “ I will give rain in its proper time” in mind. The verse is found in the second paragraph of the Shema prayer.

Gd says in the passage that if we follow his ways we will benefit and get rain in its proper time. But how could this be with the Holtzbergs? This was their plot of land, their rain, their blessings? Said Moses when he was shown a vision of the Romans slowly torturing the great sage Rabbi Akiva to death- Zot haTorah v’zot ha’schar? This is the Torah and this is the reward?

November 26, 2008.

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were Chabad emissaries sent to Mumbai, India to settle down there for the rest of their lives and make their home the center of Jewish life in the area. Running a hostel, offering weekly meals to the community, managing a synagogue, mikvah…Complete dedication and sacrifice.

November 26, 2008 -

Pakistani Islamic terrorists surround their building and take them hostage. They are found murdered two days later, their 2 year old son Moshe escapes alive.

Zot haTorah v’zot ha’schar? This is the Torah and this is its reward?

As humans, we search for meaning. We demand the rain we deserve for our efforts, we get bothered as we look at our neighbors’ plot of land, and we search for evidence of the divine plan, design in what appears as random chaos. Even though the colors appear chaotic and random, the grid creates a definite order, subtly proclaiming the master plan behind their lives and existence.

The Holtzbergs are depicted in this painting as outlined figures, with the shadow of their existence, imprints and effects of their life in this world. They stand proudly, fighting the spiritual battle that demands acknowledgement of the order and design of the Great Architect. It is what they are meant as imprints in this world to teach us,to mold us. Through understanding our own plot of land, we prepare ourselves for receiving the rain that will come not when we want it, but in its proper time, in this world and the World to Come.

 

Ahmedinejad; Remember- Don't Forget by Marcy Nehorai

A portrait of the former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a quote from the Torah, one of the daily six remembrances in prayer. 

"Only guard yourself 

And guard your soul, 

unless they leave your heart and your childen’s heart 

and teach them to your children and your children's children." 

This was a command given from Gd to the Jewish people after the golden calf incident when the Jews lost trust in the immense miracles and divine revelation they had just experienced. Losing that faith and awareness, they reconstructed reality to determine what their next move should be. Thus this work is a modern day dialogue about how memory is so easily altered, and the necessity to guard ourselves and our children from memory manipulation. It is a reminder for the necessity to actively teach our children who we are and what we stand for. Because, as Ahmadinejad proved by denying the Holocaust in the same generation that Holocaust survivors still existed, if we don't teach our children, someone else will.

 

Man Versus Civlization by Marcy Nehorai

“To Rabbi Shimon, eternity was not attained by those who bartered time for space, but by those who knew how to fill their time with spirit. To him the great problem was time rather than space; the task was how to convert time not eternity rather than how to fill space with buildings, bridges, and roads; and the solution of the problem lay in study and prayer rather than in geometry and engineering.” - Rabbi Avraham Joshua Heschel

 

 

Bob Dylan ; Rebel With Him by Marcy Nehorai

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Acrylic on canvas

24’’x36’’ 

My first thought regarding Dylan was a quote from Tzvi Freeman's book about the Rebbe. As he put it, "There were never any followers of the Rebbe- followers couldn't keep up. The Rebbe has only leaders. Those who rebel with him.”

Dylan is and was an enigma. What he thought and wrote was certainly from a raw, deep place, and while he wouldn’t often explain what he meant by many of his deliberate yet confusing lyrics, I like to think that the point wasn't about him. The point was about us and what we were going to do with it, how we were going to translate it and use it, to fuel our lives. That is at least what he did for me. 

All of my greatest Torah inspirations that I look up to have a rebelliousness to them, an awareness that they need to fight even amongst "their own" to bring out the truth within themselves. Dylan is an example to me of that type of Jew, whose inwardness, reflectiveness, and expression successfully take flight. 

Let's join him.

 

 

In Memory of Dafna Meir by Marcy Nehorai

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I created this piece the week of the murder of Dafna Meir. Dafna was a young mother of four children, aged 11 to 17, and two foster children. A terrorist, Adais, entered her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel with a knife.

“On the afternoon of January 17, 2016 Adais told Shin Bet investigators, he waited for Meir, 38, to come out of the front door of her Otniel home and then attacked her.

“I plunged the knife into her so deeply that most of it was inside her body,” he recalled.

“She started screaming, the children saw me and also started screaming, then I stabbed her in her upper body another three or four times. She tried to fight me and tried to take the knife from me. The two children who were there were still screaming, but she continued to resist, so I pushed her, and overpowered her.”

“All her life she raised foster kids and moved between institutions,” her niece Moriah tells Israel Hayom. “Her dream was to take kids that had nothing and give them a good life. She was the best mother in the world.”- Times of Israel, January 2016

This piece is in honor of Dafna Meir, and all the Jewish mothers that will do anything to protect their children.

The Truth Will Win Out, Hannah Senesh by Marcy Nehorai

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Hannah Senesh represents to me the necessary belief that in the end, all will be good.

She never divulged military secrets despite torture. All the German guards were so impressed and scared of her strength ( one saying "I never met a woman as strong as you before ") . She had an incredible speech at her trial in which she poetically accused the Hungarian government ("Thus it is not I that is the traitor, but you!"). She believed that truth and justice would always win out (as she told the court "When the war is over, you will be tried for your crimes"). In her final hour, she refused a blindfold, refused to ask for mercy, and stared calmly as bullets entered her body.

Behind the image is writing that is mostly painted over, of Senesh's famous poetry " Oh Lord, my Gd, I pray that these things never end.." ,plus the transcript of her entire trial, and her final hour. Never fear , never fear. The Truth will win out. Acrylic on canvas 24 X 36 "