Berit Engen WEFT and D'RASH – A Thousand Jewish Tapestries

– The Gasping Shore of the Sea of Salt and Death

On our very last day in Israel, between Covid testing in Jerusalem in the late afternoon and dropping off the rental car at the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv at midnight, we spent the last hours of our three-week journey at the edge of the Judean desert by the Dead Sea. We had yet another Israeli, within-a-short-time-and-a-narrow-geographical-area adventure of being close to historical events spanning approximately 3500 years, from the Bible to the founding of the State. My internalized knowledge of the sites (some of which I previously had transformed into tapestries) sharpened the experience for me, even if we “visited” a couple of them by seeing road signs only.

As for the wilderness, despite its beauty, I felt it scary. Small and alone next to it and knowing that darkness would soon descend upon us brought about an overwhelming intensity. From the road, looking down at the beach, I saw the stunning sight of turquoise and blue water with white foam hitting the sand with continuous but quiet movements. A soothing view to me, yet this narrow line of contrast-to-the-desert colors in the large, grey, and seemingly still body of water – it was as if it were crying out on behalf of the entire sea, begging us to notice it and remember it for life.

- 5 tapestries. (Series completed.)
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