Friday, September 10, 2010

Imagining the binding of Isaac

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year.
The Torah portion that is read on this day is Genesis 22, God's testing of Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son on Mount Moriah.
In Hebrew we call it the Akedah, the binding of Isaac.
Below is a wide variation of artistic portrayals of the story, on display at the Jewish museum in Jerusalem's Hechal Shlomo.
"Abraham's sacrifice," designed by W. Breathe, England, 1870, porcelain, manufactured by Wedgewood.
On the other extreme is this simple brass tub drilled with holes, made in Israel in the 20th century.
The inscription is "Lay not thy hand upon the lad," the welcome words of God's messenger-angel.
This is an illustration on a 1743 map of Eretz-Israel, painted in France.
A painting by Moshe Castel, 1925.
We can see the ram, tangled in the branches by its horns, which will be offered instead of Isaac.
"The way to the mountain," wool thread on cushion cover, embroidered in Ethiopia in the 1980s.
The servant boys stay behind with the donkey, Isaac carries the wood for the fire, Abraham carries the knife. Vultures circling above?
You have to admit, religion has a lot of drama at its core.
. .
More about Rosh Hashana in previous posts:


RuneE said...

Happy New Year, and congratulations with having such a nice family visiting you.

Cloudia said...

A sweet new year!

I love your survey of related art, the Ethiopian really rounded it out, Dina.

ShAloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Pietro said...

I really enjoy these images from the Jewish Museum. All very nice works of art, the cushion is so original and attractive.

Rob and Mandy said...

Love the Castel painting and the Ethiopian embroidery. Thanks!

VP said...

An interesting gallery about Rosh Hashana, so many different way to depict the same event...

VP said...

...and have a Happy New Year!

Kay said...

A wonderful happy new year to you and all your beautiful family, Dina.

Anonymous said...

I like the artwork you showed us and how varied it is. Nice work. Also enjoyed the previous post.

JM said...

It's a wide variation indeed. A pillow from Ethiopia?! How interesting.

Francisca said...

Your post is interesting and relevant, Dina. But you'll understand me, I hope, when I say that sometimes religion has more than enough drama at its core. Too often it seems to inflame the peaceful and loving side of it.

Birdman said...

I learn so much, some days, visiting your posts. Thanks!

Hilda said...

A beautiful collection, Dina. I had to smile at your last statement. So true.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Once I wrote a five page essay upon this. Many thanks upon the memories.

Jew Wishes said...

The photos and art are stunning.